The HS2 Preparation (Paving) Bill
“Although I am totally opposed to HS2 as it is currently constituted and will not support the main legislation when it comes before the House at the end of the year, I shall support the Preparation Bill when it comes before the House on Wednesday (26th June) as it will speed up compensation urgently needed for my constituents who have already been financially hit hard by the route of Phase 1 of HS2” says Michael Fabricant.
“In this, I am supported by a number of national organisations representing homeowners and the environment and including the Country Landowners’ Association and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England” adds Michael.
The Country Landowners’ Association say “The HS2 Preparation Bill enables preparatory expenditure for all three sections of the HS2 proposals. Section 1(3) allows finance to be committed in preparation for the construction of HS2. Section 1(4) allows expenditure on preconstruction activity, acquiring property and the provision of compensation.
“The Preparation Bill is the first opportunity to address the impacts on those who will be directly affected by HS2, who are already suffering considerable loss and uncertainty. Dealing with Blight, Duty of Care and Mitigation at this stage would send out a strong signal that property and business owners will not have to suffer crippling long term losses and business disruption in a difficult economic climate.”
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) say “The Campaign believes a new high speed rail (HSR) line has the potential to lead to a wider shift of passenger and goods transport from road and air to rail. However, the specific proposals for High Speed 2 (HS2) should be subject to careful scrutiny due to the financial and environmental costs inherent in such a large project.”
Michael Fabricant adds “The Woodland Trust also shares these views and I will be speaking in the House of Commons shortly about the environmental damage being done to ancient woodlands by the current route of HS2.”
Meeting with Secretary of State for Transport in London on July 1st
“Around half a dozen of us from the Lichfield and Whittington area will meet the Secretary of State, his officials, and directors of HS2 Limited on Monday July 1st. Our main concern is for the height of the line to be lowered substantially. Currently, HS2 is routed high over the raised A38 and West Coast Main rail lines. We will be arguing for some limited tunnelling which will reduce the environmental impact and we believe the additional cost will be partly offset by a reduction in compensation payments to homeowners. A detailed presentation has been prepared by the Lichfield Phase 1 Working Party which I set up to include specialists and representatives from the various local anti-HS2 groups. This will be presented to the Secretary of State.
“In the coming two to three years in the Committee Stage of the main HS2 bill, we will argue for a substantial change to the route to follow an existing motorway in order to reduce the environmental impact. This route would move HS2 away from southern Staffordshire completely” says Michael Fabricant.