20th Oct, 2017

Borough MPs on opposite sides of track over HS2 plans

Solihull Editorial 11th Sep, 2014 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

BATTLE lines have been drawn between Borough MPs Caroline Spelman and Lorely Burt over the possible sighting of HS2-associated ‘marshalling yards’ in the borough.

Marshalling yards are the areas used to store unused trains and carriages.

And the current proposal is for them to be stationed in Washwood Heath in the heart of Birmingham.

But Solihull MP Mrs Burt has submitted a letter to the HS2 Select Committee calling for the yards to be brought into Meriden MP Caroline Spelman’s constituency.

And now they find themselves on oppositte sides of the tracks.

Mrs Spelman, who along with Solihull Council has resisted efforts to relocate the marshalling yards into the Greenbelt, said: “Against parliamentary convention, my neighbouring MP has without discussing it, opined that a major development of marshalling yards should be placed in my constituency.

“It shows a complete lack of understanding about Solihull’s UK Central proposal to create a garden city by connecting up the new interchange station to the Chelmsley Wood estate so that local people benefit from the development.

“Laying down railway tracks and creating marshalling yards would make this impossible.”

She added that the Department of Transport had looked in depth at where to locate marshalling yards for HS2 and chosen the Washwood Heath site as the most sustainable option.

Meanwhile Mrs Burt has said her decision was driven by jobs.

“There is a huge opportunity to create 600 jobs in Solihull and several thousand in one of the poorest areas in East Birmingham.

“I think it’s unfortunate that the Conservatives are affronted by my decision to stand up for local jobs. “However, I would point out to them that the Chelmsley Wood site is just one alternative which would not interfere with the garden city plans in any case.

“This is an important issue for Solihull. As a local MP I have to speak out when jobs in our area are at stake.”

Solihull MP Lorely Burt.

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