A Government minister says he will raise a number of issues with HS2 after a visit to Lichfield.
Andrew Stephenson MP saw the impact of work to construct the controversial high speed rail line after going to see areas in Fradley and Kings Bromley with Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant.
Work is pushing ahead with on the HS2 route, with trees being cut down along the route in advance of the line being constructed.
The minister – who is responsible for HS2 in the Department for Transport – said:
“I’m pleased to have been able to visit Lichfield to see for myself at first-hand some of the challenges that the local community are facing and the environmental impact of the HS2 programme.
“I came here because Michael Fabricant wanted me to see these challenges at first-hand.
“I’m now going to raise many of these issues with HS2 limited and within my own Department for Transport.”Andrew Stephenson MP
Mr Fabricant said he wanted the Minister to see first-hand how the landscape was being disrupted by the work.
“I was keen that Andrew saw for himself the damage to local woodland and the environment caused by HS2.
“I took him to the aptly named Wood End Lane where ancient woodlands have been torn down and along the canal at Fradley.
“I also raised the more general point of poor communications within HS2 itself and the consequent challenges this causes in dealing with local constituents.
“Often, the right hand of HS2 doesn’t know what the left hand is doing and, on occasion, the calibre and imagination of some HS2 personnel cause very real difficulties for my constituents.
“I frequently have to intervene to escalate issues to senior management.”Michael Fabricant MP
Mr Stephenson said he was keen to see improved connections between HS2 and the communities they are impacting on.
“I am aware, and have been looking into, some of the difficulties arising from poor communication with local communities.
“This is something that we are really keen to improve upon and I am working to ensure that HS2’s feet are held to the fire to ensure that they communicate more effectively with impacted communities.”Andrew Stephenson MP