Lichfield MP hopes HS2 inquiry will answer key questions
Lichfield’s MP has admitted he is pleased to see a new inquiry examining the impact high speed rail would have on existing services.
The Transport Select Committee has published its terms of reference which outline the exact scope into the investigation over the business case behind HS2.
The inquiry has outlined five key points to be looked at:
- How high speed rail fits into the Government’s transport policy objectives
- The business case
- The strategic route
- Economic rebalancing and equity
And Michael Fabricant MP believes the probe will allow both sides of the argument to have a say.
“This will clearly be a full ranging inquiry with support from expert advisers that are available to House Committees. In addition, the Committee has full power to interview witnesses, take oral evidence, and – in the highly unlikely event that someone refuses to give evidence – subpoena individuals to appear before the Committee.
“I particularly welcome the Committee’s decision to focus on what effect the construction HS2 might have on existing rail services and to ask ‘what would be the pros and cons of resolving capacity issues in other ways, for example by upgrading the West Coast Main Line or building a new conventional line?’ That question is of huge importance.
“I note that Staffordshire County Council resolved yesterday to oppose the construction of HS2. I hope that they will make their opinions known to the Select Committee alongside other groups including Stop HS2, The Anti HS2 Alliance, and the Council for the Protection of Rural England. All written evidence must be submitted no later than 16th May. The Secretary of State for Transport and HS2 themselves will also be called to give evidence.
“In advance of their doing so themselves, I submitted a report by the Anti HS2 Alliance into how the West Coast Mainline could be upgraded to double its present capacity. I am delighted those issues are now included in the scope of the House Inquiry.”
The Government’s public consultation on the proposed route between London and Birmingham runs until July. For more information visit www.highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk.