Michael Fabricant has welcomed the Prime Minister’s statement on HS2 today (4th October). Michael says: “This announcement ends years of worry for my constituents to the north of Lichfield who would have been badly affected by the construction of Phase 2 to Manchester.
“Phase 1 will be completed. This not only includes the HS2 line from London to Birmingham, but up to where it joins the west coast main line near Handsacre just north of Lichfield.
“The uninformed report from BBC Midlands Today broadcast on the 3rd October was completely wrong. The works around Lichfield and Fradley will, of course, continue as it was always a part of Phase 1. This poor research by the BBC unecessarily alarmed my constituents. Without that leg of Phase 1, HS2 cannot connect with Manchester and the north via the west coast main line. As someone who used to work for the BBC, I am surprised how standards of the most basic research have fallen in the west midlands region of the Corporation.
“While I know that Andy Street, the West Midlands Mayor, was investigating other forms of funding HS2 to Manchester using private finance, homes and businesses along the route would have been blighted by uncertainty and falling property values until private funding was found. I know from Phase 1 how unsettling that is to people.
“I have long advocated that by upgrading parts of the west coast mainline, high speed trains can be run at near high speed from Manchester to where it joins HS2 when it can then run even faster down to London Euston.
“I have opposed HS2 from since when the Labour Transport Secretary, Lord Adonis, changed the route from the ARUP plan which would have linked the line direct to Paris. That would have made some sense. But Labour’s HS2 route later adopted by David Cameron was always flawed.
“The announcement to cancel this costly project was a brave decision by the Prime Minister and is the right one.”