Kidsgrove could benefit from a new High Speed Railway Station (HS2) in the future. It appears that Newcastle Borough Council supports the plans for HS2, however it also wants to ensure that North Staffordshire benefits from the new high speed rail link. This could possibly leave the door open to Kidsgrove benefiting from being the location of a new HS2 station.
Gareth Snell, Leader of the council, said, “One of our key aims is to secure investment and jobs. We believe that the HS2 proposals could underpin future economic regeneration and employment opportunities as well as providing a solution to the growing transport congestion issues.
"We will support the principle of high speed rail so long as there are clear economic benefits for North Staffordshire and we will be pushing for a station to realise those benefits.”
In July 2011, the council registered a holding objection to the proposals and supported the county council’s view that the development could adversely affect the Staffordshire economy and environment.
At that stage it was also doubtful that a new station for North Staffordshire would be included in the plans.
However, the Government has since decided to go ahead with the HS2 proposals and will undertake a consultation exercise to gauge local support during the next few months.
Government plans for HS2 involves two phases – the first will connect London to Birmingham and then Phase two will connect Manchester to the West Coast mainline and East Midlands and South Yorkshire – with interchange stations in both areas – before connecting to the East Coast Mainline north of Leeds.
Support for the HS2 proposal in general has grown in the last 12 months and both Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Staffordshire and Stoke LEP have put considerable effort into outlining the potential benefits from a high speed rail station in the area.
Cllr Eddie Boden, portfolio holder with responsibility for planning, regeneration and town centres, said, “North Staffordshire is attractive to business and potential employers because of our central location. However, we recognise that there are growing congestion problems on the M6 and this could hamper our efforts to attract new jobs and employment in the future.
“A high speed rail network and local station, serving Crewe to the west and Stoke to the east, would be highly desirable and very beneficial to the people of Newcastle and our businesses”.