Construction for HS2 could ‘kill off’ town

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Construction for HS2 could ‘kill off’ the town in the latest announcement that all main roads in and out of the town may be cut off for months.

It was this week revealed by HS2 Ltd that all of the major roads could be closed at the same time to accommodate huge engineering works with devastating effects.

In order to lay the tracks as part of the high speed rail line between London and Birmingham, extensive work must be done to build bridges and cut under land and existing roads in the town.

Bridges need to be built to cross over, or tunnel under the A46, A429 and Dalehouse Lane in particular.

This is likely to bring huge disruption, on top of that already expected with construction of the line and workers’ camps around the town and Burton Green.

And fear is now high that the town’s economy will be completely crippled if the all ‘major arteries’ into the town are closed off or severely restricted for as long as a year.

Town councillor George Illingworth (Con, Abbey) said with the amount of traffic coming from north to south Warwickshire via the town’s road network, the results of simultaneous closures on all major roads would “absolutely devastating”.

“They had ideas about closing Dalehouse Lane for something like a year, but we have told them that this is simply not possible,” he said.

“It is a major link to the A46 and not a country lane as they seem to see it on their maps. The message from this meeting was that we should be very worried and the effect on the town will be huge.

“We as a town and a town council are very worried as our economy depends on people passing through to Coventry and Birmingham and on them coming into the town.

“The concept of closing Dalehouse Lane is just not practical. There is no way to divert traffic.”

Jan Kenyon, who lives on Dalehouse Lane, warned that the work would leave Kenilworth as “ a ghost town” which would struggle to recover.

“This is such an enormously bad possibility for the town and will have unimaginable consequences. Once people get used to not coming in, they will stay away. This could kill our economy.”

A HS2 Ltd spokesman said: “We acknowledge the concerns regarding potential road closures. However, it is wrong to suggest that we would close all access roads to and from Kenilworth during this stage of the project.

“Over the next few months we will work with the local authorities to develop construction options that fit the area to minimise the impact on traffic and the community.”