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Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan calls for HS2 to be built from north to south
A BUCKS MP has today said the northern part of the planned HS2 line should be built first because of question marks over the Government's transport policy.
Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan made the comments after the plans for the line beyond Birmingham were unveiled for the first time today.
The first part of the line between London and Birmingham has caused anger among Mrs Gillan's constituents, with the route set to cut through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
But doubts remain over whether this section of the route will connect to Heathrow Airport - and the former cabinet minister said this was proof the coalition Government had not properly thought out their transport strategy.
And she said the fact the north is in need of greater economic growth is another reason why the first phase of the line should be built from north to south.
She said: "Today’s announcement means that thousands more people now face the uncertainty of blight on their homes and business for decades to come.
"The announcement that any decision on a spur to Heathrow will be delayed is yet further proof that the Government have put the cart before the horse in deciding the future for Britain’s transport infrastructure. The Government has asked Howard Davies to review airport capacity in the South East and no decision will be taken for 2015 on our future hub airport.
"The Government claim HS2 will be an engine for growth and help rebalance the economy between the north and the south. If that is the case then why not start the project in the north and ensure better connectivity with London by waiting until after a decision on our hub airport has been taken?"
Mrs Gillan added: "Many of my colleagues with northern constituencies will now find they and their constituents adversely affected.
"My colleagues and the communities they serve must of course come to their own conclusions on the validity of this project. However, many other MPs will find their area blighted for new investment as businesses will look to the route of HS2 rather than other parts of the country.
"Of course some will benefit from HS2 and welcome the project but there will be others whose environment, homes and businesses will be devastated by this railway.
"A lot will change over the next 20 years. Is this blight and agony to so many a price worth paying for a railway that could be redundant before it is even completed?"
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