Michael Fabricant says: "When I met Transport Secretary Lord Adonis back in March, he told me that a major factor determining the route of the High Speed Train was the need for the track to be as straight as possible. And that was why it had to cut through the eastern side of Lichfield.
"With the UK having twice the density of population as France, it is essential that the track is capable of avoiding densely populated areas. The Government has stated that the High Speed Train Service should be able to achieve speeds of 250mph/400kmph. However, the Japanese firm Hitachi has already developed a tilting train capable of using curved track just like the proven Pendolino but at speeds of up to 400 km per hour.
"While I recognise that tilting trains, like the Pendolino, have to be narrower than standard trains and that continental European non-tilting trains will not be able to run at full speed on curved track – though, of course, British tilting trains can run at full speed on European tracks – I believe that this minor ‘sacrifice’ is well worth accepting.
"If I am re-elected, I shall be pressing the Transport Secretary to investigate the use of tilting high speed trains so that the existing route of HS2 can be altered to avoid built-up areas like Lichfield and minimise the damaging effect of the track on sensitive areas of the countryside.
"It will be more expensive, as will the use of cuttings and tunnels to minimise environmental impact, but the current route proposed by Labour is totally unacceptable".