The economic case behind a proposed high speed rail line that would cut through parts of Lichfield is set to be investigated.

Michael Fabricant, the city’s MP, confirmed that the House of Commons Transport Select Committee would now hold a full inquiry into the issue of the positive and negative elements of HS2 on the national economy.

Campaigners fighting against the line linking London with Birmingham and the north have always questioned the figures supporting the development of the route.

And as Mr Fabricant explained, they will now have the opportunity to formally put forward their side of the argument. He explained:

“Some weeks ago I asked a number of MPs to join me in writing to the Chairman of the Transport Select Committee asking that the Committee conduct a full inquiry into HS2. I was disappointed and surprised to learn that it wasn’t already on the schedule of work that they had planned to undertake.

“I am now delighted to hear that such an inquiry will now be undertaken.  This will provide an opportunity for Transport Secretary Philip Hammond to set out the economic and transportation arguments for HS2 while, I am sure, the Anti HS2 Alliance and others organisations and individuals will be presenting alternative solutions for our rail system.

“While the findings of a Select Committee are not binding on Government, they do receive considerable publicity and the Secretary of State is obliged to comment in writing on each of the findings of the Committee following publication of their report.  The hearings of the Committee, including all the evidence sessions, will be public and will be broadcast.  Transcripts will be available on the Parliamentary website.  I hope that this inquiry will shine a clear light onto the arguments for and against the construction of a new high speed line.”

Mr Fabricant confirmed that the inquiry would be another element of the wider debate into the issue of HS2.

He added:

“This public inquiry will happen in parallel with the Public Consultation organised by the Department of Transport into the route to be taken by HS2 if it goes ahead.  The consultation will last five months and the Secretary of State will announce his findings at the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012.  He will also take the findings of the Select Committee into account.

“If it is decided that HS2 should proceed, it will then go to a further Committee of inquiry – a ‘Hybrid Bill Committee’, which is also public -and will sit for two to three years.  This is a long process, but I am keen that there should be transparency and the opportunity for all sides to present their arguments.”


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

10 replies on “Lichfield MP confirms full inquiry will be held into economic case for HS2”

  1. This is good news indeed.The whole issue needs to be debated now,and brought to the attention of the wider public.If this is considered to be in the National Interest,it should involve everyone in the country (who,after all,will be paying for it)and not concentrate only on the initial proposed route to Birmingham and beyond.Ultimately,if approved,this will sanction a country-wide network of HSR.Therefore the PRINCIPLE needs to be approved.we already have high speed trains,and have since the 1980’s.The  question has to be asked,why do we need faster trains than the continent,necessitating straight lines which will cause such destruction of countryside and homes.

  2. Having had a look at the TransCom web-site, there is no such official press release yet issued; clearly Mr Frabricant has privileged information on the matter.

    However on 16th February a TransCom press release stated their Report “Transport and the economy” would be published on Wednesday 2nd March. This is the inquiry at which Joe Ruskin was invited to speak for the StopHS2 campaign.

  3. I agree with HS2, we need it, yes some people will lose out and will have to move but the whole country will benefit. The needs of the one out way the needs of the many.

  4. Have you Morris actually read anything about HS2 apart from the spin that the government has issued about fences and trees and how green it is.Well the green party now dont think it is.The only people that will be able to afford to use it regularly are those earning large salaries unless it is heavily subsidised,in which case the tax payer has to foot the bill.HS1 has not got predicted numbers using it.The M6 toll road is not used because of cost.Oh and did you not realise its coming through your back garden.

  5. E.Hancock, dont spout what you know is complete rubbish. Have you seen rail fares? Despite over-inflation prices rises and an economic downturn rail demand continues to rise and with likely increases in fuel price and the need to suppress WCML demand by fruther price rises HS2 will actually *help* make London-Brum travel more affordable. Be in no doubt, pricing people off HS2 makes no sense – fares will be set at a level that makes full use of capacity. The M6 Toll Road is a terrible example and you know it – HS2 doesnt avoid the place people want to go, and its not a choice of paying or not paying – there shouldnt be any difference in price of a London-Brum ticket the day before HS2 opens and the day after.

  6. chris why is HS1 more expensive than normal rail? it is running far below predicted numbers of passengers.You seem to think it will be ok if every tax payer subsidises you to travel on a luxury train whilst many will have to continue to rattle about in old trains in the rest of the country, because all the money has gone into a white elephant.
    how fair is that?

  7. My nervousness has something to do with a fear that lessons are not going to be learned from the M6 toll, a great engineering triumph, a wonderful ride, but a singular failure due to pricing arrangements to move heavy traffic away from Walsall-Birmingham corridor. HS2 will be a triumph nationally, a great ride down to catch the train to the continent, but leaving most of us on a crowded west coast mainline. Don’t rely upon supply and demand to move traffic onto the new trains – witness uncrowded M6 toll road while the M6 remains jammed up. I hope I’m proved wrong but I have still to be proved wrong on the impact, or lack of, of the toll road.

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