Lichfield’s MP has told the Government it isn’t too late to scrap plans for HS2.
The controversial high speed rail line will cut through swathes of the country, including parts of Lichfield and the surrounding countryside.
But with the project expected to come in well over budget, Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has called for a rethink.
In an article for the Daily Telegraph, he said: “Several Tory leadership contenders have already said they would knife the project if they were Prime Minister.
“And a further blow to this costly juggernaut came in a damning report from the House of Lords Economics Affairs Committee questioning not only the overall costs of HS2, which could exceed £100 billion, but its very raison d‘être.
“When HS2 was first mooted, speed was of the essence. It is now being justified on the more realistic grounds of increasing north-south rail capacity.
“The present pinch point is between London and Rugby. Two extra lines running parallel to the existing West Coast Main Line would ease that. Extra land would have to be acquired and new tunnels bored, but this would cost less than £10 billion, a tenth of the likely cost of HS2.”
Mr Fabricant added that the fact work and spending on the project has already begun should not cloud the judgement of those deciding the future of HS2.
“Some £6 billion has already been spent on HS2 – much of it on the provision of two new platforms and lines at London Euston,” he said. “If HS2 in its present form were abandoned, this would not be money wasted.
“The railway station is already working at full capacity and in any event, those new platforms are badly needed.
“But regardless of the financial cost, HS2 has been a seriously flawed project right from the start.”