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Lichfield MP hits out at ‘untrue’ rumours over HS2 route meeting

Lichfield’s MP has angrily rejected claims he invited a landowner to present a plan to the Secretary of State for Transport to steer the HS2 line away from his property.

Chris Pincher, Philip Hammond and Michael Fabricant examine a map of the HS2 route

Chris Pincher, Philip Hammond and Michael Fabricant examine a map of the HS2 route

Rumours on the internet had suggested that Michael Fabricant had arranged for the man to speak to Philip Hammond about a revised plan for the proposed high-speed rail line.

It had been suggested that a new route to avoid Hints and Weeford could be used that would take the line nearer to Whittington and Hopwas – a suggestion which has since been dismissed by HS2’s chief engineer.

And Mr Fabricant has condemned the reports as “untrue” and claimed they are causing “unecessary distress” for local residents.

Speaking to The Lichfield Blog, he added:

“People are working themselves into an unecessary frenzy about HS2 routes in Staffordshire which have either never been considered or have been rejected.

“Reports that I invited the individual who lives near Hopwas who has proposed a route for HS2 which would take it to the very edge of Whittington to meet the Secretary of State for Transport are untrue. Why would I invite him?  He is not even a constituent of mine.

“The only people I invited to meet Philip Hammond were the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Lichfield Action Group, the Leader and Chief Executive of Lichfield District Council, and the Leader and Town Clerk of Lichfield City Council.  No more.”

The Conservative MP has urged campaigners to await the announcement of the official announcement on a revised HS2 route before formulating their opposition.

And he believes the latest rumour shows why those fighting HS2 need to keep their powder dry.

He added:

“The route proposed by him has been long rejected by HS2 on noise grounds.  Until an official announcement is made by the Secretary of State for Transport announcing a new preferred route, there is no point in speculating or becoming alarmed about phantom railway lines.

“Once the line is officially published, the campaign can begin – if it is still necessary.”

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3 Comments

  1. Alan (Streethay)

    9th December, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Regarding the comment “Once the line is officially published, the campaign can begin – if it is still necessary.” Whether the line is moved further away from Lichfield or not there will still be some local areas affected and therefore we should also continue to fight for them.

  2. Jonny

    9th December, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    “Phantom Railway Lines”? Doesn’t he mean Ghost Train lines?

    Well i certainly don’t want any spooky goings on in my backyard ;)

  3. Derek Lawman

    22nd December, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    All they ever needed to do was to reopen the old Great Central mainline closed by Labour in September 1966. The last main line to reach London and the only one built to continental loading guage.
    It was constructed for high speed running, and was only open for sixty six years before it was closed as surplus to requirements!!
    Most of the track bed is still in situ as far as Rugby where it could connect with the West Coast main line, where additional high speed tracks could be constructed alongside existing trackage.