Member of Parliament for North Warwickshire and Bedworth, Craig Tracey has today welcomed the news that the Prime Minister has announced that he is scrapping parts of HS2, including the Eastern leg, which has been an issue of much contention for local residents over a number of years.
The announcement of the removal of the safeguarding of the Eastern Route, which includes places including Kingsbury, Polesworth, Birchmoor and Austrey means that this part of the route will be scrapped, however, work will continue on Phase 1 areas as currently set out.
However, Coleshill Parkway and Water Orton stations will now be beneficiaries of the Midlands Rail Hub, a new £1.75bn investment to greatly increase capacity through central Birmingham and create a South-East style network across much of the Midlands. Their services to Birmingham and Leicester will increase by between 50-100% as a result.
Additionally, under the previous HS2 plans, Tamworth and Nuneaton stations which are used by many constituents would have lost their fast conventional service to London. Most of these services on the conventional fast line will now be retained.
Today’s announcement also revealed that significant sums will also be invested in upgrading the A5 from Cannock to Rugby and there will be the introduction of a Midlands Roads resurfacing fund with further details to be released shortly.
On hearing the news Craig, who recently invited HS2 Minister Huw Merriman to the area to see the destruction for himself, said
“I have been campaigning against HS2 ever since I was elected in 2015 and have consistently voted against the project, lobbied successive Ministers to cancel it, petitioned the Select Committee and tabled amendments to the Bill, so I am delighted that the Prime Minister has finally seen that HS2 is not the way to “level up” the country and providing better ways for people to get from our villages to Towns and towns to cities will offer far more accessible opportunities for work, education or leisure to many, many more people.
This is great news for local residents who have been under threat particularly in areas such as Kingsbury, Polesworth & Austrey.
Sadly, the work on Phase 1 will still continue, which means many constituents still being blighted, but it means that HS2 Ltd will be very much under the microscope in these areas and I will be redoubling my efforts here to ensure that local people are properly treated and fairly mitigated buy the terrible upheaval that they will continue to face.”