Caroline Spelman and Solihull Council seek HS2 improvements from the Government.

Caroline Spelman MP and a cross party delegation from Solihull Council met with the Secretary of State for Transport yesterday (27 November) to seek improvements from the Government on the HS2 route in Solihull.

At a meeting with The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP in London, changes were asked for in three locations. In Chelmsley Wood realignment of the route and a "cut and cover" tunnel; at Balsall Common a 6.5 km deep bore tunnel; and at Hampton in Arden realignment or a tunnel was requested.

The Secretary of State for Transport thanked the cross-party delegation from Solihull for the constructive approach and listened carefully to the views put forward. He was sympathetic to the concerns of residents and knows the local area. It emerged that nothing has been ruled in or out at this stage and a response to the requests will be made in due course.

The delegation also discussed the potential benefits of HS2, notably the likely increase in construction jobs, future connectivity and economic growth.

Caroline Spelman commented, ‘I am grateful that the Transport Secretary agreed to my request for a meeting and I am hopeful that we will get at least some of what we need to protect the community and the environment locally’.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ken Meeson said ‘The Solihull delegation had a positive meeting with the Secretary of State. We outlined very clearly what we believe needs to be done to achieve the right balance between economic growth and the needs of people and the environment. I hope that we can take these discussions forward to get the best for Solihull.’