Michael Fabricant voted against HS2 (Phase 2a from Lichfield to Crewe) in the House of Commons last night – on Monday 15th July. However, only 17 MPs voted against with 263 voting Aye though 366 MPs abstained completely from voting.
During the debate, Michael asked the Government Transport Minister, Nus Ghani, whether she will comply with a request from Lichfield District Council.
Michael asked: “My honourable friend will know that HS2 gives no direct benefit to Lichfield, because the train does not stop in the area.
“She will also know, because earlier I gave her a copy of a motion that was passed by Lichfield District Council, that it asks that ‘all enabling works for HS2 in Lichfield District should be paused until the notice to proceed to main works…has been approved.’
“It has not been approved yet and will not be until December. May I ask her to comment on that and reassure my local council that no works will go ahead in the District?”
Nus Ghani replied: “The notice to proceed and the business case will be in the public domain later this year, which is why we need to have enabling works, so that they support the ‘pre’ work that needs to take place before the line can be built.”
She joked: “I know that my honourable friend loves progress and speed, and he would like our country to be seen as a progressive country that connects cities to cities. He will want to see this line built as fast as possible and he would never want to be held responsible for slowing it down.”
Michael Fabricant now says “I argued long and hard against HS2 in its present form and pointed out that the route neither connects with Heathrow Airport nor the continent. I also pointed out that often one half of HS2 does not know what the other half is doing and often gives contradictory advice to local councils and other interested parties.
“Other MPs pointed out the growing cost of HS2, now estimated to exceed £100 billion.
“Yet despite over half of all MPs abstaining from the vote, the agreement between the Labour and Conservative leadership meant that the legislation passed.
“Boris Johnson has said that he will initiate a Government enquiry into the future of HS2, if he is selected as Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. I hope the Government applies the brakes to this project in its present form.”
Some of Michael’s many interventions can be seen here.