Huge HS2 rail complex at Stone will be made permanent once line is built
A HUGE temporary rail terminus and construction yard for HS2 near Stone will be turned into a permanent maintenance depot once the track is built.
The 100 acre site will be two miles long and located between the M6 and the new £55.7bn high-speed line, stretching from Stafford services towards Swynnerton.
The Government this week revealed the move after ruling out building other maintenance hubs near Crewe and Lichfield.
Facilities at the 'railhead' terminus and construction yard would include offices, storage, a rail marshalling yard, a pre-assembly depot, and railway reception lines to manage trains.
Sidings with storage and construction facilities for the track and overhead line equipment would also be provided.
The Government said the move would 'avoid the cost and environmental impact of providing these facilities separately' as it unveiled new details about the second phase of the project.
The proposal has been met with opposition from Stone MP Sir Bill Cash.
He said: "I am profoundly and deeply opposed to phase two, which goes straight through my constituency from top to bottom."
Up to 100 workers will be based at the site – between Stone and Yarnfield – and it will operate 24 hours a day.
The proposal has met with fierce opposition over the potential impact on local wildlife, light and air pollution, visual impact of the facility, and disruption to local roads.
Concerns were raised that Yarnfield Lane – described as a 'vital lifeline' between Stone and Yarnfield – would be closed during the construction.
The Secretary of State recognises the strong feeling on this issue, in the local area and can now confirm that, apart from a very short period to connect to the new alignment, Yarnfield Lane will remain open throughout construction.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced that the road would remain open.
The plans from HS2 state: "Our design development work shows that it will be more efficient to install the railway systems from a central location along the route, which can facilitate construction activities to the north and south simultaneously. This will provide greater flexibility in the way we construct the railway, potentially lead to a shorter construction programme and reduce the cost."
A total of 45 miles of Staffordshire will be affected by HS2, bisecting the county from Lichfield to Swynnerton while skirting Stafford, Stone and villages along the route.