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Government HS2 tunnel rethink set to protect thousands of jobs in Leicestershire

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The Government has said it will tunnel its proposed High Speed 2 rail line under a site earmarked for an industrial development that could create 7,000 jobs in Leicestershire. It had been feared that the proposed Roxhill complex near East Midlands Airport would be put in jeopardy by the 250 mph train line which is slated to run right through the site. However today Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said the 1.9 kilometre tunnel already proposed to take the line under the airport could be extended by a further kilometre so it does not interfere with the Roxhill project. His announcement comes after a series of discussions between county council leader Nick Rushton and North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen with Department of Transport officials. Coun Rushton and Mr Bridgen argued the potential loss employment from the development being sacrificed to HS2 would have been a hammer blow to the local economy. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "These changes have the potential to deliver huge economic benefits for the East Midlands on top of the already considerable opportunities HS2 will bring the region. "They also show that we are both maximising the economic impact of HS2 as well as listening to concerns of those affected by it. "We will continue to work with stakeholders, to identify critical issues such as Roxhill and propose revisions to the scheme where possible." Coun Rushton said: "I am pleased by this because I have been doing a lot of inside track work. We raised a concern with the Government and it is always nice when those concerns are listened to. "The potential loss of Roxhill was our major concern but there are still others - the loss of housing at Measham, and further industrial development at Ashby. "This solves one of the problems. "Not everyone will be happy. People in Lockington do not want Roxhill or HS2 and were hoping each might supper the other." Coun Rushton has been arguing for the stretch of HS2 between Birmingham and Leeds to be rerouted out of Leicestershire altogether, going through Derby. Senior development director at Roxhill Kate Bedson said: "Our proposals for a new strategic rail freight interchange with six million square feet of associated warehousing have the potential to create 7,000 jobs, providing a boost to the economy in the region. "Since the announcement, through our MP and local authority, we have enjoyed an early and positive dialogue with the Department of Transport and HS2 Ltd and are very pleased with the decision to amend the proposed route. "This now allows us to consult with the public and other bodies on our plans before submitting our application at the end of the year."

Government HS2 tunnel rethink set to protect thousands of  jobs in Leicestershire


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