A REFERENDUM on HS2 could be held next year after a bill was put forward by an MP.

Christchurch MP Christopher Chope submitted one of the 37 Private Members Bills for consideration in the current Parliamentary session, which leads up to next year's General Election.

Only 11 bills will be read and debated by MPs before May's election, meaning there is a less than one-in-three chance Mr Chope's motion will be discussed in Parliament.

Mr Chope's suggested bill was "to make provision for a national referendum on whether the proposed construction of the HS2 railway should be supported financially by the UK taxpayer".

Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan was among six members to support the bill.

Tellingly however three of the other MPs to support the motion represent constituencies not affected by the route of the line.

Supporter James Gray represents North Wiltshire, Peter Bone is MP for Wellingborough and Andrew Turner is the Isle of Wight's member.

Penny Gaines, chairman of the Stop HS2 campaign group, said: "It is only right that the people expected to pay for HS2 have the chance to say that they don't want to."