The impact of HS2 on our communities will be profound. That is why I have been pressing my colleagues on the Labour Party front bench on the issue. I am delighted that, as a result, Michael Dugher MP, Shadow Transport Secretary, has agreed to meet local residents so that he can be shown first-hand some of the problems that the construction of HS2 would cause in Holborn and St. Pancras. As soon as a date for this visit has been set, I will circulate it locally.
I have also met Sir David Higgins and I am glad that Michael Dugher MP has agreed to reinforce my concerns with him.
On another front, the Government’s response (published ten days ago) to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report failed to answer one of the questions asked of the Government by the Committee, namely:
‘What is the estimate of the overall reduction of cost to HS2 of terminating the proposed line at Old Oak Common (in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham), including any necessary redesign of the station at Old Oak Common to make this possible, and what is the effect on the cost benefit analysis?’
I have therefore tabled that question in the House of Commons for written answer by the Secretary of State for Transport. It is a crucial question, which deserves a clear answer.
Keir Starmer QC, MP