On Monday (21st November) this week, Justine Greening met over 20 Members of Parliament about the HS2 proposals.
MPs who attended included Michael Fabricant (Lichfield), Christopher Pincher (Tamworth) and Jeremy Wright (Kenilworth and Southam). In addition several MPs came who have constituencies not on the proposed route, including John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington).
There were a number of criticisms of HS2, both a large scale and local.
There was detailed criticism of the business case, especially in respect to the passenger forecasts. Christopher Pincher said afterwards, “I made clear to the Secretary of State that I do no believe the business case made for HS2 does not stack up. I asked her to use the much more reasonable passenger demand projections included in the latest Passenger Demand Forecasting Handbook, which is sitting on her desk awaiting sign-off. If she does she will find that there are other more innovative and less intrusive solutions to the West Coast Mainline capacity issue than a brand new transport corridor.”
Other issues included the lack of clarity on Heathrow: the MPs were told there would be no formal consultation on this until 2014.
There was also concern about the speed of the trains and environmental issues.
Several MPs also brought up issues of compensation and blight which are directly affecting their constituents lives now.