Lichfield’s MP has called on county councillors to “get off the fence” over the proposed route of a new high speed rail route.

Michael Fabricant

Michael Fabricant admitted that he respects the stand that some Staffordshire County Councillors have taken to oppose the HS2 project in principle, he has begged them to “not bury their heads in the sand” and simply rely on the hope that HS2 will be abandoned.

The Conservative MP said:

“I know that some councillors believe that ‘a head of steam’ is building up against HS2, but nationally the numbers just don’t stack up. All three main parties advocated a High Speed train service in their separate general election manifestos.

“The reality is that the vast majority of MPs do not have the line running through their constituencies, are completely unaffected by it, and support their party’s policy to link the north to the south.

“In a recent debate in the House of Commons, those MPs not affected by the route were strongly in favour of the line. So unless there is a further economic crisis, construction on HS2 will proceed in 2017.

“That is why I am concentrating my efforts on mitigating as far as possible the effect the route of the line will have on my constituents. Simply opposing the line in principle and taking no part in route planning is irresponsible and would abrogate my responsibilities as a constituency MP.  That is just short term popularism and they won’t get any thanks in the long-term.

“I urge local councillors – and others – to engage constructively helping those whom they represent.”

Mr Fabricant has called on those opposing the route to follow the lead of the The Lichfield Action Group.

He explained:

“Although they originally took the view that simple opposition to the line would be enough, on meeting with the Secretary of State for Transport, they quickly realised they had to engage in constructive dialogue to get the route by Boley Park in Lichfield changed as well as opposing the route on principle.

“I think that Philip Hammond, Secretary of State, has taken the argument fully on board.”

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

4 replies on “Lichfield MP tells county councillors to ‘get off the fence’ on HS2”

  1. Michael, Which side of the fence are you? Are you for HS2 full stop, against HS2 full stop or against hs2 through your constituency? Careful one of these could give a NIMBY award. Regarding Philip Hammond taking the argument fully on board, let’s see what the “new” proposed route looks like when it’s announced.

  2. Lichfield Action Group’s position on HS2 has been consistent – in common with
    Staffordshire County Council and many groups along the route, we oppose it in
    principle. We have campaigned to get the route by Boley Park changed – the
    change we want is the announcement that HS2 will not go ahead. We do not believe
    it should be inflicted on any one else, which is a possible inference in Mr
    Fabricant’s words.
    Mr Hammond made it clear in the Guildhall meeting attended by two members of
    Lichfield Action Group that he would not engage in a debate about the principle
    of HS2. It was obvious that the only discussion would be about the preferred
    route – and we made it clear that a 685metre viaduct within a few hundred yards
    of homes in Boley Park and Streethay was unacceptable.
    We hope we engaged in constructive dialogue and we’re pleased if Mr Hammond took
    that argument on board. We’d be even more pleased if he took on board the
    argument that HS2 itself is unaccaptable, not just to the towns and villages on
    route but to the country as a whole.

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