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Second Worcestershire MP backs HS2 fast train project
A WORCESTERSHIRE MP has stuck her neck out in support of the HS2 superfast rail project - saying the county will benefit from it.
Harriett Baldwin, who represents West Worcestershire, says the £50 billion scheme deserves the backing of the commons.
A second reading is taking place in parliament tonight which is widely expected to be passed despite up to 40 Tory MPs due to either rebel or be absent.
Mrs Baldwin said: "It stands to reason that a faster rail link from Birmingham International to London and the continent beyond will be good for Worcestershire businesses.
"The next phase will whizz us to Manchester as well.
“Now detailed analysis of the HS2 project shows by how much the Worcestershire economy could benefit.
"I will still be campaigning for a faster, more frequent and more reliable Cotswold line service, a Worcestershire parkway station, dualling of the Carrington bridge to Powick roundabout and flood resilience for the main roads through Upton.
"With the Ketch roundabout work starting this week and dualling to junction seven of the M5, we have shown we have a team of Worcestershire MPs, councillors and a local enterprise partnership who are all committed to investing in local infrastructure."
It follows a report from KPMG last year, which revealed Worcestershire's economy is set to benefit from up to £375 million of new investment once the link reaches the Midlands in 2026.
Worcester MP Robin Walker is also a supporter of the project.
While some MPs are likely to defy the three major parties' whips to either vote against the bill or ally themselves with rebel motions from the anti-HS2 Tory MPs Cheryl Gillan and Michael Fabricant, the scheme's backers are confident of a resounding endorsement tonight.
Earlier this month Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin admitted that legislation needed to build the high-speed rail project would not become law before the next general election in 2015.
The Government says once complete it will reduce journey times from Birmingham to the capital to just 40 minutes.
But the Labour Party has refused to back it, saying it cannot sign a "blank cheque" for the project due to concerns over the estimated costs.
The Government has put £14 billion aside to avoid getting into a financial mess if the bill spirals, but future delays could see it go further
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