Campaigners fighting plans for a high speed rail line have welcomed the appointment of the Government’s new Transport Secretary.
David Cameron’s Cabinet reshuffle saw Justine Greening replaced by former Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin after just ten months in the job.
Campaigners from the Stop HS2 group are hoping for improved relations with the new man in charge after failing to secure a meeting with Mr McLoughlin’s predecessor to outline their objections to the line.
“We welcome the appointment of Mr McLoughlin, who seems at first glance far more aware of the world around him than the two previous secretaries of state and has already spent more time in the Department for Transport than them both put together,” said Stop HS2 spokesman Joe Rukin. “We hope the new man will be far more receptive than Justine Greening, who refused to even meet with us during her ten months in the job.
“We had been expecting the consultations on compensation and land safeguarding, along with the publication of stage 2 of the route to happen in the next week or so, but surely, like when Justine Greening was appointed and delayed publishing the HS2 public consultation results, there will now be a rethink and a delay. To do anything else would be irresponsible and we will be pressing for a complete rethink on HS2, hoping that Mr McLoughlin will see the importance of an integrated transport infrastructure solution for Britain opposed to this ill thought out grand project.”
Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has revealed that one of the reasons he opted to leave his Government post was because it prevented him from speaking out on issues such as HS2.