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Wycombe MP Steve Baker: HS2 case 'not proven'
THE Government's High Speed 2 plans were today opposed by Wycombe MP Steve Baker in the Houses of Parliament.
Tory MP Mr Baker personally called a 90 minute debate this morning, where Transport Minister Theresa Villiers was summoned.
To watch a video of the debate click on the link under related articles.
The £30bn plans for the new railway which would slash journey times from Birmingham to London would cut through Buckinghamshire greenbelt.
A huge campaign group has been set up to protect the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the site of the preferred route.
Following this morning's Parliamentary debate, Mr Baker said: “I made the case strongly for Buckinghamshire that the railway should not come through Buckinghamshire.
“I also said the case was not proven at all for the nation in terms of High Speed rail as a strategy.
“Nobody should have to put up with it, the only reason would be if it were shown to be in the national interest, very clearly. I've argued that has not been proved.
“I'm not persuaded that the economics of High Speed rail make sense for the whole country.”
Mr Baker said he backed the anti-HS2 stance of fellow Bucks MPs Cheryl Gillan, David Lidington, Dominic Grieve and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.
The Parliamentarians have gone against their own party's policy in speaking out against the plans.
Mr Baker said his own political ambitions came second.
“I have said clearly that I would put constituents views first on these collective issues and that is today what I have done,” he said.
“I'm glad to have stood up for Buckinghamshire.”
Mr Baker said he will oppose the plans completely, rather than arguing only for an alternative route.
HS2 will be one of the key issues examined by the Transport Select Committee, to which Mr Baker was recently elected.
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