Yes vote pushes HS2 one step on

The HS2 Bill has passed its second reading in Parliament.
The HS2 Bill has passed its second reading in Parliament.

A high speed rail line through the district’s towns is one step closer after MPs voted to press on with the proposals.

The HS2 hybrid bill passed its second reading in Parliament on Monday by 451 voted to 50.

Agreement for the £50billion scheme from London to Birmingham was carried despite opposition from Conservative back-benchers and dozens refusing to back the legislation.

Many MPs, including Leamington and Warwick’s Chris White, voted no in an objection to HS2 carving a path through their constituencies.

And as well as 26 Tories voting against the legislation, many abstained - including Kenilworth and Southam MP, Jeremy Wright who withheld his vote on grounds that he supports the scheme, but not in its present form.

Warwickshire County Council’s Bob Stevens, cabinet member for HS2, described it as “no surprise” the House voted to progress the scheme.

“We have opposed it at a local level since day one but we have to be realistic that this is going ahead,” he said.

“The vote was a watershed moment, in which the principle of building HS2 was formally agreed by Parliament.

“The county council is now faced with only one course of action, and that is to try and shape the impact of HS2 through seeking protection, safeguards and as many mitigation benefits as we can for Warwickshire.”

The council, along with Warwick District and residents along the line, will now petition the Government to try and get the best deal for their communities.