Lichfield’s MP has said he is prepared to fight against plans for HS2 – described the rail line as an “un-natural disaster”.
Michael Fabricant confirmed his position on the line in a meeting with residents in Kings Bromley yesterday (April 19).
Some critics had suggested his battle for improved compensation for those affected by the line had drawn attention away from the campaign to prevent it being built altogether.
However, the Conservative MP has now clarified his position, insisting he will fight to prevent the high speed rail project from going ahead.
“I cannot support HS2 as it is currently planned,” Mr Fabricant said. “If I cannot change it, I will have to try and stop it.
“The present route proposed by HS2 cuts a destructive swathe through previously unblemished countryside in the Lichfield constituency.
“It’s an un-natural disaster facing rural Staffordshire.”
He admitted that he was still working to get the proposed line moved, but insisted he wouldn’t roll over and accept the current route.
“I am working hard with the Department of Transport, HS2 themselves, and pressure groups to get the route changed to use existing transport corridors as they do on continental Europe, like the M1 or M40, in order to minimise the environmental damage.
“But if after all these approaches we cannot get the route changed during the progress of the legislation, I shall have to oppose that legislation in Parliament.
“I do recognise the need for two extra north-south lines to relieve congestion on the existing West Coast Mainline. I know that pressure on existing lines can only increase as spiralling petrol prices drive people off the roads.
“I also know that the spare capacity freed-up by HS2 will eventually enable more direct fast train services from Lichfield Trent Valley – but none of this can be at the expense of the environment and people’s lives.
“I shall not give up on this battle to save South Staffordshire, but it will be tough.”