Lichfield’s MP has said he will back a Bill in Parliament designed to allow householders affected by the proposed route of HS2 to claim compensation.
The High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill will be voted on in the House of Commons on June 26.
And while Michael Fabricant insists he will still oppose the main HS2 Bill later in the year, he is keen to support this earlier proposal to make funds available for the project.
“The fact is, whether or not HS2 eventually proceeds through Staffordshire or elsewhere, my constituents along the proposed line are affected now by blight and urgently need compensation,” he said. “For that reason, I will be supporting this short Bill which will enable this and I will not oppose that legislation.
“However, although I believe in the principle that we do need two extra north-south lines to relieve existing track congestion, I am bitterly opposed to the Labour route adopted by the Coalition Government.
“As I have said before, I will not support the main Bill when it is published later this year and if we cannot get the route changed in the Committee Stage of the Bill, I will vote against the legislation.”
The Conservative MP has long been keen to see any high speed rail route following already established pathways across the country.
“I will be pressing the Government to change the route to use an existing transport corridor, such as a motorway, to minimise the environmental impact and stop the line plunging through unblemished southern Staffordshire countryside altogether,” he said. “I will also be pressing them to link HS2 directly with HS1 so that commuters will be able to travel to the continent without changing trains and to provide a better link with Birmingham New Street Station.
“In parallel with all this action, I shall be taking a delegation from Lichfield and Whittington to London to meet the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, his civil servants, and representatives of HS2 on July 1 to discuss tunnelling and other mitigation measures should we be unable to get the line shifted away from our area.”