Lichfield MP likens HS2 to disconnected trainset after House of Commons vote

Lichfield’s MP has likened HS2 to an unconnected Hornby trainset.

Construction work on the controversial high speed rail project is on course to start in 2017 after a vote in the House of Commons.

An artist's impression of HS2

An artist’s impression of HS2

MPs voted 399 to 42 in favour of the hybrid Bill for phase one of the line between London and Birmingham.

The high speed rail scheme will see the line run through parts of Lichfield and surrounding villages.

But Lichfield MP said fundamental problems still remain with the HS2 route.

Michael Fabricant MP

Michael Fabricant MP

“History will not say ‘this was the way to build a railway’,” he said. “In my speech I compared it to my old Hornby Double O trainset which went round and round on the carpet, disconnected from existing transport systems.

“So HS2 will not connect with Network Rail in Birmingham New Street or Heathrow, and the promise that travellers will be able to board in Birmingham and wake up in Paris has come to nothing.

“Nevertheless, both the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and the House of Commons HS2 Committee were very helpful in mitigating the worst effects of the route. But as I pointed out in interventions during the debate, many areas of outstanding natural beauty and ancient woodlands will be devastated by the line which could so easily have travelled up an existing transport corridor such as the M40.

“But with cross-party support for HS2, my role now as a constituency MP is to aim to reduce the damage caused by HS2 and ensure my constituents receive suitable compensation.”

Mr McLoughlin said that despite being given the green light, the Government and HS2 Ltd would continue to work with local communities.

“Once again Parliament has backed HS2 and brought this vital new railway one step closer to reality,” he said. “British contractors are now bidding to build the line, British apprentices are waiting to work on it and British cities are waiting to benefit from it.

“We expect HS2 to begin construction next year. As we enter this new phase I make three pledges – we will work closely with those communities affected by the HS2 route, we will keep a firm grip on costs and we will drive maximum value for money from this new railway.”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.
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