Angling’s representative body the Angling Trust has written to Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon MP asking him to investigate the impact of the proposed new high speed line between London and Birmingham on fisheries.
More than 40 river and still water fisheries have been identified as being adjacent to the route, including the iconic Savay and Korda lakes, which have long histories as prime carp and tench waters, attracting anglers from all over the country to fish them.
Trains will travel at up to 250mph on the new line and concerns have been raised about the impact this will have on the tranquillity of these fisheries and potential damage to water quality during the construction phase. The Angling Trust has called on the Minister to review the impact on the angling industry, which generates £3.5 billion for the economy each year, employs more than 37,000 people and raises about £25 million each year in rod licence revenue which is spent on protecting fish stocks and restoring rivers.
Research has shown that one of the obstacles to young people taking up fishing is a lack of safe places to go and fish. The Angling Trust is concerned that the noise from the new train line may damage the economic viability of angling clubs and fisheries along the route and they will have to close, reducing further the options available to anglers of all ages in this heavily-populated part of the country.
Angling Trust Chief Executive Mark Lloyd said: “millions of people go fishing to enjoy the uniquely peaceful qualities of waterside environments and the wildlife that they support. This very important tranquillity will be shattered if 250mph trains are routed alongside and over these very special lakes, rivers and canals, which have been fished for generations. We urge the Government to consider carefully the impact on fisheries and the environment, and explore all alternative possible routes, before giving this project the green light to proceed.”