Villiers rejects high speed offer19 Feb 2010

Tories rail against sight of HS2 report

The Conservatives have turned down an opportunity to see the official, independent, report into a new north-south high speed rail link.

Commenting on Theresa Villiers’ decision to decline the offer from Lord Adonis to view a copy of the HS2 study, Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“It seems bizarre that the Conservatives have turned down the opportunity to see the HS2 report. All parties are advocating high speed rail yet now Theresa Villiers is refusing the opportunity to see the official, independent, study into a new line, and the public might well conclude that she is happy to base her party’s views more on faith than fact.  One is left wondering whether she now believes the HS2 report won’t be as supportive of a new north-south line as everyone is being led to believe.

“We are not suggesting new road schemes would be any less controversial in terms of planning, but the public have a right to know the truth about any new infrastructure proposals. In the interests of transparency Lord Adonis needs to make the HS2 report public now.” 


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Ms Villiers made her comments on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.

She said: “This is one of the most important decisions we will be making on our transport infrastructure for the next 20 years. I very much hope there is going to be valuable work in the White Paper when it is published. It will be an important contribution to the debate, but we can’t let it close down the options.

“We will look at it when the whole of the general public gets a chance to look at it. We don’t want there to be some cosy deal reached behind closed doors which closes out the communities which might be affected by the route. We are not going to take Labour’s route on trust,” she said. “We are going to reserve the right, if we think HS2 haven’t come up with the correct solution, to look again at the route.”