Lichfield’s MP says he is “reassured” by confirmation that commuters will still be able to access high speed services on the West Coast Main Line once HS2 is built.
Rail Minister Andrew Stephenson confirmed passengers would not face slower journeys once HS2 is built after a question from Michael Fabricant MP.
The Conservative MP for Lichfield said:
“Lichfield is one of over 20 stations along the West Coast Main Line that won’t be served by HS2 – the nearest station will be half an hour or more away.
“At the moment we’ve got the tilting Pendolinos, which are very fast, but HS2 told me that when they are phased out, they won’t be replaced by any fast train, and the West Coast Main Line will only be used for slow commuting trains.
“So can the Minister now assure me that HS2 at that meeting got it wrong, and that stations like Lichfield Trent Valley will still have a fast service down to London once HS2 is completed?”Michael Fabricant MP
The Minister replied:
“Fast inter-city trains will continue to run on the West Coast Main Line once HS2 opens.
“One of the key aims for future service patterns is that all towns or cities which currently have a direct service to London, will retain broadly comparable or better services once HS2 is completed.”Andrew Stephenson MP
“Lichfield’s economy depends on fast connections”
Speaking after the question, Mr Fabricant said Lichfield could not afford to lose high speed links with the capital and the north in future.
“I am reassured by the Minister’s answer. I am most concerned that when the Pendolino trains are phased out when they reach the end of their working life, they are replaced by an equivalent or faster service in the 2030s.
“This will need to be planned for this decade.
“While it is early days, I know that no such planning has yet started so I will continue to scrutinise the Department for Transport.
“Lichfield’s economy depends on fast connections with the capital and the north and I do not want to see any deterioration of that service.”Michael Fabricant MP