Leeds MP voices concerns over £32bn HS2 route

Leeds MP voices concerns over £32bn HS2 route

Published: 28th February 2013

HS2 trainA Leeds MP has held crucial talks with bosses behind the controversial HS2 scheme.

Elmet and Rothwell MP Alec Shelbrooke went to Westminster yesterday to speak to Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin about concerns over the project in his constituency, which include a 60ft viaduct in Woodlesford.

After the meeting, Mr Shelbrooke told the YEP: “It needed to be highlighted that the sheer scale of that project in that area was unacceptable.

“I’m very pleased with how it went.”

As previously reported in the YEP, the Conservative MP is calling on HS2 bosses to consider moving the £32bn high-speed rail route further east, away from residents’ homes and for early consultation with residents.

He added: “The Secretary of State for Transport said it was very early days and that the plans are just a draft.

“He said he understood the problems and that he would be looking in to it.”

Mr Shelbrooke also explained the consultation over what the compensation scheme should include ends on April 30.

Organiser of the Swillington, Oulton, Woodlesford, HS2, Action Together (SOWHAT) group, James Lynch, said: “I do appreciate what Mr Shelbrooke has done in representing our concerns.

“But I remain sceptical as to whether our points will be heard.”

HS2 Ltd director of external and Parliamentary relations, Clinton Leeks, said: “We will work closely with communities to refine plans to find the right balance between delivering essential infrastructure and respecting the rights and concerns of those most affected.”

The consultation process will start towards the end of this year.