WORRIES over Tameside’s tram line being cut off by work to build HS2 will be heard in Parliament.
The borough’s three MPs, Angela Rayner, Jonathan Reynolds and Andrew Gwynne, have won their bid to voice their concerns.
The multi-billion pound project will see faster trains and a reduced journey time between Manchester and London, if or when it is completed.
But while work is going on, the current tram line between Ashton and Manchester looks set to be blocked for two years.
And even though they have not yet been given a specific date when they will speak to the HS2 (Crewe-Manchester) Bill committee later this year, they will make their opinion heard.
Ashton MP Ms Rayner has already told the Government what she thinks of the plan to cut off the line.
In a letter, she wrote: “The proposal states that a bus replacement service will be in operation for the period of closure.
“This will present a level of disruption that is wholly unacceptable and will have a significant negative impact on my constituents.
“The closure of this well-used Metrolink line will force many people to use their own cars for their daily commute at a time when Greater Manchester leaders are working to drive down air pollution.”
And the trio were originally told by the firm their Tameside constituencies would not be ‘directly affected’ by the works.
However, after attending a ‘right to be heard’ hearing, the Bill committee decided they should be allowed to state their case in full, with Jonathan Reynolds being called as a witness due to the construction works falling just beyond the boundary of his constituency.
And in a joint statement, they said: “We are pleased that the committee has seen sense and decided that the elected representatives of Tameside do have a right to be heard.
“We were never in doubt that we had a right to speak up for our constituents and should not have been challenged by HS2 Ltd in this manner.
“While we are disappointed that Jonathan hasn’t been granted full right to be heard, we appreciate the committee’s decision to allow him to be called as a witness, where he will make a robust case about the impact the closure of the Metrolink line will have on his constituency.
“The decision to mothball the Ashton Metrolink line would have disastrous consequences for all our constituencies, severing a vital transport link for local people.
“TfGM have suggested an alternative proposal, which would allow construction to continue without damaging our constituencies. HS2 Ltd should do the right thing and work with local authorities during this process.
“We’ll continue to stand up for our constituents as this Bill progresses.”