I have just received the following email from Victoria Prentis MP:
Dear Mr Steven,
Thank you very much for your email raising concern over HS2, and specifically the potential impact on Wardington.
I’ve been an opponent of HS2 since the day it was announced by the last Labour Government. I have been a Director of Transport Sense, an organisation that fights against the plans. I do not think the business case has been made.
I believe that if built, the line will destroy communities. The construction works would have a severe adverse effect across great swathes of the constituency, including the centre of Banbury where the additional traffic would create a logjam.
I feel there are better ways of spending the money for HS2, not least to ease congestion on commuter routes into London (which I accept is an issue). I remain at this time open minded on whether HS3 – or something similar to it – is a good idea or not.
What I do know is that even though passenger numbers have risen in recent years, I suspect that now ways of working are changing, and many businesses are more readily allowing staff to work at home. My husband, for example, now counts on one hand the times he has been to London in the past two months, having previously commuted in without fail for 15 years, after our village was fortunate to move to fibre optic broadband.
I was contacted by Nigel Bankes earlier in May, and wrote back to him immediately saying I’d be delighted to come along and speak with the Parish Council. This is now in the diary for June. I understand the particular concerns about the large number of HGVs which may pass through your lovely village if the line goes ahead. I share these concerns.
I am being kept updated on all issues pertaining to HS2 by local residents, councillors, and officers at Cherwell District Council, and will be raising these concerns when opportunities arise.
Victoria Prentis MP
Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Telephone: 020 7219 8756