High Speed Rail Select Committee

On 11 February 2015, I gave evidence to Parliament’s High Speed Rail Select Committee. You can watch the proceedings by clicking here

You will be aware from recent press coverage that petitioners in Warwickshire have been making their case for improvements to the High Speed Rail Bill since the beginning of the year. The Select Committee is the Parliamentary body that is able to make major changes to current proposals along the proposed line and petitioning is a crucial chance to make changes to the Bill. 

I have attended as many of the Committee hearings as possible and have listened to my constituents describe how the proposed route will affect them and their communities as the train line passes through Warwickshire. 

Individual campaigners and the local HS2 Action Groups between Burton Green and Wormleighton have eloquently described how their communities and the local environment could be assisted by better mitigating the impact of the line. They have called for better noise and track side mitigation so that the line fits more naturally into the environment.

Specific requests, which I endorse include improvements to the Kenilworth Greenway, a deep bored tunnel in Burton Green and under Cubbington Wood, a cut and cover tunnel in Offchurch, and an overall reduction in the height of the track across the area. The Action Groups have been working tirelessly on these proposals and I continue to support them in their efforts to minimise the impact of the line.

Ever since the HS2 project was announced I have argued the case for better compensation for my constituents who will suffer financial loss as a result of HS2. I raised this with the Committee and reiterated my long held view that a flexible compensation scheme is the most appropriate way to compensate those who live on or near the line of route.  

I have little doubt the Committee understands the effect HS2 will have on Kenilworth and Southam, and am hopeful they will consider all of the proposals to lessen the impact on our area.