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13/05/2013
Anti-HS2 campaigners call for action from MPs


Anti-HS2 campaigners call for action from MPs

HS2

HS2

Anti-HSA campaigners are calling for MPs along the proposed route to "put their money where their mouth is” after it was revealed the HS2 Paving Bill is to be the first introduced into Parliament following the Queen’s speech.

The first reading of the bill took place before the speech last Monday, and campaigners claim the bill would be to allow money to be spent on the project which would not normally be available until royal assent is gained.

If built, the first phase of HS2 would cut through south Northamptonshire, between Brackley and Upper Boddington.

Stop HS2 campaign manager, Joe Rukin, said: "HS2 Ltd has lost all budgetary control of the project and all the Government want to do is give them a blank cheque to carry on with complete disregard to both due process as soon as possible.

"There have been a lot of MPs along the route who have made some of the right noises, some of the time over the last three years. Now there is a bill on the table, it is time for them to say whether they will put their constituents or their careers first.”

Deanne DuKhan, director of campaign group AGHAST, said: "It will be interesting to see how MPs who vote for HS2 will justify themselves when it becomes clear that this massive expenditure won’t actually mean new jobs or growth outside London.

"The taxpayers will find themselves footing the bill and then subsidising a mode of travel that only the wealthy few can afford to use.”

Meanwhile, the Government today said it could make changes to a section of the HS2 high-speed rail route to allow plans for a 7,000 job-creating scheme to go ahead.

Concerns have been raised that the route of phase two of the £33 billion HS2 line could affect plans for a strategic rail freight interchange depot next to East Midlands Airport near Castle Donington in Derbyshire.

The initial preferred route would have seen the new rail line cross the site of the proposed depot.

But today, the Government announced that it has developed a revised option involving extending the proposed HS2 tunnel under the airport to avoid the majority of the depot site.

Work on phase one, from London to Birmingham, is set to start in 2016/17 with services beginning in 2026.

Phase two, taking the line north in a Y-shape to Manchester via Crewe and to Leeds via Derby and Sheffield is set to be completed around 2032/33.

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