At Prime Minister’s Question Time today (13th September), Michael Fabricant told the Prime Minister of the chaos being caused around Lichfield area by HS2.
First, Michael asked the PM: “What recent assessment he has made of the economic outlook for the West Midlands.”
The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak replied: “We regularly engage with local partners across the West Midlands to gather insight and intelligence on the economy. Earlier this year, we initiated the Trailblazer Devolution Deal which will include measures to help businesses thrive. Just the other week, Business Growth West Midlands was launched by the Mayor, backed with £100 million in funding for business support.
Michael then said: “I am glad to hear that the West Midlands economy continues to grow.
“However, we do have a problem in Lichfield, and that is road and footpath closures, which we don’t know how long they will go on for. It is apparent that for HS2, who are making these closures, one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing. HS2 is the most dysfunctional organisation I have ever had to deal with.
“Will the Prime Minister in the short term try and restructure HS2, so it works like a company should? And in the long term, can he save other constituencies from this damage by stopping HS2 at the end of Phase 1?”
The Prime Minister answered: “I know the frustration this is causing to my Hon Friend’s constituents. I am told that HS2 Ltd is prioritising the completion of works underway to keep disruption to a minimum, including roadworks in Lichfield. The Transport Secretary will continue to hold them to account, and the company will keep local communities informed about future works.”
Michael now says: “I wait with bated breath to see whether there are any improvements. In addition to road closures, I am aware of HS2 operatives trespassing on other people’s land and sometimes inadvertently causing damage.
“I opposed HS2 when it came to Parliament and resigned my front bench position so I could make my views known. But I had no idea how expensive and disorganised it would become. My own preference is for HS2 to be halted now and the damaged land restored, but I know this won’t happen. But stopping it at the end of Phase 1 will help other parts of the Lichfield constituency which will soon be affected by the construction of HS2 Phase 2a.”