HS2 Update for January 2012

  |  Published: Jan 20th 2012

HS2 announcement delayed

The new Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, has delayed her announcement about High Speed 2 until January. In a written statement to Parliament, she said:

"Since taking up office in October I have been considering the issues, raised as part of the consultation and additionally have listened to the views of Honourable Members. In order to ensure that my decision is based on a careful consideration of all relevant factors, I have concluded that I should allow myself until early in 2012 to announce my decisions. I am therefore notifying the House that I will not be making a further statement on the subject of high speed rail this year, but I expect to announce my decisions in January."

David Lidington MP's response to the delayed HS2 decision

As you are likely to be aware the Secretary of State for Transport has delayed her decision on if the Government will be proceeding with HS2 until January 2012. She announced this via a Written Ministerial Statement to the House of Commons on 6 December 2011. To view the statement please follow the link below.

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-vote-office/14-Transport-DfTBusinessPlan.pdf

I am aware that several media outlets have commented that the reason for the delay is so an assessment can be made on the feasibility of further tunnelling in the Amersham area. The Secretary of State's statement makes no reference to this and subsequent enquiries have led me to understand that no decisions have been made about further tunneling and that a variety of options are being looked at. Therefore, until the announcement the issues raised in the recent articles are nothing more than pure media speculation.

However, I have written to the Secretary of State for Transport to ask for clarification and to again urge her to consider mitigation measures for Wendover, Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury and Fairford Leys if the scheme goes ahead and a copy of this letter will be available on my website www.davidlidington.com shortly.

Regarding the case for tunnelling of the route in the local area, as I indicated in my consultation response I continue to believe that should HS2 go ahead serious consideration needs to be given to further mitigation measures in the local area, including tunnelling. I can assure you that I am making the case to the Government that if HS2 goes ahead it should impact the local area as little as possible as well as making every effort to persuade the relevant Ministers and officials that there are viable alternatives to HS2 that should be considered.

David Lidington
Member of Parliament for Aylesbury

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