In advance of the Government’s announcement of the route to Manchester and Leeds which will be made in the latter half of this month, Michael Fabricant has warned the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, that he will be unable to support it in Parliament. The Transport Secretary will announce how HS2 will continue from south of Armitage through to Manchester.
“I am expecting the Transport Secretary to announce the proposed route for HS2 to Manchester and Leeds in a couple of weeks time” says Michael Fabricant. The route to Leeds will not affects residents in the Lichfield constituency, but the route through to Manchester most certainly will.”
“While I support the principle of a high-speed rail network which will eventually link Scotland with the Channel Tunnel and free up capacity on the West Coast Main Line enabling many more fast Pendolinos to stop at Lichfield Trent Valley which will greatly boost the economy of the area, the present HS2 proposal is profoundly flawed.”
“I am also unhappy with the Government’s present thoughts on compensation for homeowners affected by HS2.”
“While not agreeing with their total opposition to HS2, I will work with the national Anti HS2 Alliance on seeking the most generous compensation offer possible from the Government to homeowners and I am preparing a detailed response to the Government’s consultation due in at the end of this month. I will also be meeting with local HS2 Groups to discuss compensation during the course of January.”
“This is very much a parallel approach. Early on, I encouraged local groups to prepare route mitigation proposals even though many oppose HS2 on principle. I support these mitigation plans including the need for tunnelling in places. At the same time, I shall continue to press for a less environmentally damaging route altogether utilising existing transport corridors such as the M40 to the west of Staffordshire. There also needs to be a total rethink of the use of stations such as better integration with Birmingham New Street and Eurostar at London St Pancras and with airports such as London Heathrow.”
“Without a major change of strategy, I fear history will say that High Speed Rail was a visionary project wrecked by bungled execution.”