STAFFORD’S MP will confront the Transport Secretary with residents' concerns over a high speed rail line set to cut a swathe through the constituency.
Jeremy Lefroy said he will meet Patrick McLoughlin on February 27 and register his opposition to the plans making the argument the business case for HS2 does not stack up.
“Since the announcement of the HS2 Phase 2 line, I have been studying the business case for the whole line and I have come to the conclusion that it does not add up,” said Mr Lefroy. “Whether I look at the projected passenger numbers or the budgeted costs, I see major flaws.
“There is, for instance, little account taken of work done by passengers on trains at the moment.”
Mr Lefroy said it was assumed much of the gain from HS2 would be additional time available for work whereas, in practice, many people already use travel time on the West Coast Main Line to work.
“Passenger numbers are notoriously difficult to predict,” he said. “HS1 (London to the channel Tunnel) is currently running at significantly less than the forecasted demand.”
Mr Lefroy said at present his main aim, along with other concerned colleagues whose own constituencies would be affected by the plans, was to ensure the compensation arrangements for those affected were fair, transparent and that more mitigation in the form of tunnelling and noise abatement was included.
“I know that this situation is very distressing for those residents affected and I will continue to do all I can to help.”