A number of constituents, mainly from Byfield, have written to me asking my views about HS2. Below is how I am replying to them:
Thank you for your recent correspondence in respect of your concerns relating to High Speed Rail (HS2), your comments upon which I have read with great interest.
Like many people in Northamptonshire, I remain an HS2 sceptic and would like to see a proper value for money case put forward and a change of route.
Currently, the Government plans to build a new High Speed Rail network as part of its programme of measures “to create a low carbon economy and to deliver significant and long-lasting economic and societal benefits for Britain.”
The Government believes that High Speed Rail has the potential to transform the way Britain works and competes in the 21st century and will play a significant role in easing congestion and making the transport system in the UK greener, by offering an alternative to thousands of short haul flights and road journeys. Furthermore, it also hopes that it will free up capacity on our existing rail infrastructure and improve frequency and service levels for passengers.
Whilst, as I say, I remain sceptical about HS2 and any Government’s ability to deliver a project like this on budget and on time, I intend to listen to, and represent the views of the majority of my constituents when any vote on this matter materialises. My neighbouring Member of Parliament for South Northamptonshire, Andrea Leadsom, is campaigning hard on this issue and I am working closely with her.