An artist's impression of HS2

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Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant says he hopes a new Prime Minister will put the brakes on HS2.

An artist’s impression of HS2

The Conservative MP voted against HS2 in a House of Commons vote last night (15th July).

But he was on the losing side as only 17 voted against the Phase 2a scheme from Lichfield to Crewe, with 263 backing it and 366 abstaining.

During the debate, Mr Fabricant asked Government Transport Minister Nus Ghani whether she will comply with a request from Lichfield District Council.

Michael Fabricant MP

Michael asked:  “My honourable friend will know that HS2 gives no direct benefit to Lichfield, because the train does not stop in the area.

“She will also know, because earlier I gave her a copy of a motion that was passed by Lichfield District Council, that it asks that ‘all enabling works for HS2 in Lichfield District should be paused until the notice to proceed to main works has been approved’.

“It has not been approved yet and will not be until December. May I ask her to comment on that and reassure my local council that no works will go ahead in the district?”

The Minister replied:  “The notice to proceed and the business case will be in the public domain later this year, which is why we need to have enabling works, so that they support the pre-work that needs to take place before the line can be built.

“I know that my honourable friend loves progress and speed, and he would like our country to be seen as a progressive country that connects cities to cities.

“He will want to see this line built as fast as possible and he would never want to be held responsible for slowing it down.”

“Contradictory advice”

The Lichfield MP said that he hoped there was still a chance to prevent the controversial high speed rail line going ahead.

“I argued long and hard against HS2 in its present form and pointed out that the route neither connects with Heathrow Airport nor the continent,” he said after the vote.

“I also pointed out that often one half of HS2 does not know what the other half is doing and often gives contradictory advice to local councils and other interested parties.

“Other MPs pointed out the growing cost of HS2, now estimated to exceed £100 billion.

“Yet despite over half of all MPs abstaining from the vote, the agreement between the Labour and Conservative leadership meant that the legislation passed.

“Boris Johnson has said that he will initiate a Government enquiry into the future of HS2 if he is selected as Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister.

“I hope the Government applies the brakes to this project in its present form.”

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