‘I was forced to sell my home for HS2 – the project has destroyed my life’
Rishi Sunak announces scrapping of HS2
A man who was forced to sell his home to make way for the HS2 high-speed rail link has said the failed project “destroyed his life”.
Roly Bardsley was devastated when he received a letter informing him that his home in Stanthorne, Cheshire, was affected by the planned route.
After being denied a compulsory purchase order, the 59-year-old said he had “lost everything”.
“I tried to sell it and estate agents laughed at me. It was blighted forever,” he told the BBC.
Rishi Sunak has announced that the plans for HS2 has been scrapped due to costs.
READ MORE: Carol Vorderman’s bold Rishi Sunak ‘escape’ claim on HS2 proved wrong
HS2 was a proposed high-speed rail link between London and the north of England. The Prime Minister told a conference that £36billion allocated to it would be reinvested into other northern rail and road schemes.
Mr Bardsley said the route would have come within 40 yards (37m) of his house and that an additional bypass would have left the place on “an island with no means of access”.
“It was unbelievable,” he said. “They refused to compulsorily purchase it because it didn’t knock the house down. I would have had trains travelling at 240 miles an hour every twelve minutes, 40 yards from my window.”
While this was going on, Mr Bardsley’s business got into financial difficulty meaning he was forced to sell his property.
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“I was now in financial distress caused by them,” he said. “I lost my business. I lost my livelihood. And I lost my home. It is profoundly the worst thing that’s ever happened to me and my family ever.”
He said before he received the letter that life had been “going well” and that he now finds it too upsetting to even drive past the property.
“We had everything there,” he said. “I think we could have lived there forever.”
Mr Bardsley said he supported the levelling up of the North and said the plan to put Leeds and Manchester and London all within an hour of each other was “fantastic”.
“Development happens,” he said, “and I was expecting clean answers, a solution and to move on.
“To be at war for that amount of time, it cost everything I had. I spent everything we had in the bank.
“Now that HS2 is not going to happen, it has destroyed lives.
“It’s been a decade of hell. I never thought that something could define my life as much as this. [We’ve lost] our home, my livelihood, my business, which had 200 employees. [Some of them had] worked for me for 40 years.”
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