‘STRAIGHT LINE’ HOPWAS-WHITTINGTON TRAIN ROUTE REJECTED BY HS2 and MICHAEL FABRICANT TO SEE PRIME MINISTER re HS TILTING TRAINS
Following meetings held some days ago between Chris Pincher (the MP for Tamworth), Michael Fabricant, The Secretary of State for Transport, and the Chief Engineer of HS2 (see News Release of 29th November reproduced below), HS2 have now told both MPs that they have rejected the route outright as it fails on noise and other criteria. "This route proposal has caused considerable alarm both to residents in Whittington and in Hopwas. It was unacceptable. If it had been adopted, it would have taken the railway to within a few metres of Whittington and I am glad that it has been rejected." says Michael Fabricant.
"Meanwhile, I shall be meeting Prime Minister David Cameron this week to discuss my concerns regarding the engineering and route of HS2 and to discuss whether HS2 is needed at all. In particular, I shall ask why HS2 have still not considered the use of High Speed tilting trains which can operate at 400kph yet still travel round tight bends avoiding sensitive areas. Part of the problem is that HS2 have planned the route with straight lines and shallow bends for conventional high speed trains which cannot help but go close or through populated areas. The UK has over twice the population density of our neighbour France which uses non tilting trains. High speed tilting trains are currently being developed in Japan, a nation which also a high population compared to the size of country.
"The only excuse I have heard from HS2 so far is that ‘the tilting makes passengers sick’ which is the what I heard years ago about not using Pendolinos. I occasionally suffer from seasickness, but haven’t ever felt the need to throw up on a Virgin Pendolino. Yet."
France has a population density of 295 people per square mile, the UK has 660, and Japan has 873.
News Release of 29th November 2010:
Chris Pincher (the MP for Tamworth) and Michael Fabricant had further meetings with the Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond, and with Andrew McNaughton, the HS2 Chief Engineer, in Westminster last week.
Michael Fabricant said "We again re-emphasised that the original Adonis route is unacceptable. We also made it absolutely clear that an alternative route which would take the line close to Hopwas and to the very outskirts of Whittington was equally unacceptable. We told the Secretary of State that this route had been ‘disowned’ by Hints Parish Council. Even HS2 say that it is a non-starter as it takes trains far too close to homes in Whittington.
"HS2 reported that they had received many objections to both routes and indeed the email, petition, and letter writing campaign, from Lichfield and Tamworth constituents has exceeded any response from any other part of the route so far."
Chris Pincher commented "Any route that skirts Mile Oak and Hopwas is just not acceptable and HS2 must realise that. The original Adonis plan also does damage from Drayton Bassett and Hints all the way to Boley Park and beyond in the Lichfield constituency. So HS2 must be made to think again."
The new line of route is likely to be announced before Christmas. There will then be a further 5 months in 2011 for further amendments to be proposed.