HS2 in Staffordshire: Swynnerton action group formed to fight rail plans (map)
FAMILIES have formed an action group to fight plans to run the controversial HS2 railway line through part of their village.
The Swynnerton HS2 Action Group will be run by a band of residents and local councillors Stan Highfield, Frank Chapman and Dave Butler.
More than 100 residents were told about the latest developments at a public meeting at Swynnerton Village Hall on Saturday.
Stafford borough councillor Mr Highfield said: "We are trying to co-ordinate people and get them to come together.
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"The action group is something that we have just started and it is not just a council initiative, it is for everybody.
"The idea is to get five or six people working on research and collating information so that we can pass it on to people in Swynnerton and take action."
The latest stage of HS2 will see trains running at up to 225 mph between London and Birmingham and onto Manchester and Liverpool. But the proposed route will plough through parts of Staffordshire, including Swynnerton.
Stone MP Bill Cash, who organised the meeting, told villagers: "It is very important to get the maximum level of co-ordination. It is my job, working with others, to get everybody on the same page which is going to provide maximum compensation. There is nothing the Government likes more than to divide and rule."
The action group will report to Mr Cash who is already lobbing the Government over the plans.
He hit out at the plans and said: "It is not economically sensible and I do not believe it is necessary."
Residents discussed the need to collate petitions against HS2.
There was also an option to get their houses revalued by a local estate agent to find out the true cost of the blight.
Chris Hall, aged 63, of Fairbanks Walk, Swynnerton, said: "We do not have enough information on the impact of HS2.
"I want to know what the real impact of noise and pollution is going to be on my property.
"I think even if these plans go ahead I wouldn't know what effect it would have and perhaps there is a bit of scare mongering going on."
Staffordshire County Council is contributed £5,000 to individual action groups.
The Government revealed its preferred route for the £32.7 billion HS2 rail network in January.
At least two trains an hour will stop at Crewe – slashing journey times to London from one hour 40 minutes to just 58 minutes.
But the HS2 track will pass through a number of areas, including Betley, Madeley, Whitmore and Baldwins Gate.
The HS2 line will not have a stop in North Staffordshire.