Michael Fabricant has written to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP, to suggest that the High Speed Train project, which will blight the City of Lichfield unless the route is drastically altered, be indefinitely postponed or cancelled. Danny Alexander is currently heading up the Treasury Team reviewing Government expenditure and seeking cost savings.
In his letter to the Chief Secretary, (sent 16th July) Michael has written:-
"The plans for the new High Speed train service (HS2) take it across Lichfield on a high flyover blighting a large part of the eastern side of the historic City. The environmental damage across Staffordshire and other parts of the United Kingdom will be considerable. I understand that studies demonstrate there will be very little transfer from air to rail on completion of the HS2. Locally, the service will not stop in Lichfield and it will be quicker to commute using the Virgin Pendolino services than taking a train into Birmingham, changing stations, and then catching an HS2 service
"Although I realise that the bulk of expenditure on the HS2 line construction is several years hence, funds will still be needed over the coming years to fund planning inquires and other advance operations.
"I hope that the Treasury will examine the HS2 proposals and consider putting them on ice for the foreseeable future or even cancelling the project altogether given other, more urgent, needs for public expenditure."
Michael now says: "With the Government seeking ways of saving billions of pounds, I cannot help but think that rather than cut existing projects, it might be better to cut the HS2 proposals which are so likely to have an adverse environmental impact on many parts of the railway’s route. It is now up to the Treasury to make their decisions and announcements will be made nearer the end of the year."
The cost of HS2 is scheduled to be over £20 billion.