High Speed Rail - Need to complete High Speed One! 28 January 2013
North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, has this (Monday) afternoon called on Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to see the High Speed One rail service completed through to Thanet.
Speaking in the Commons following the Secretary of State`s statement on the proposed future route of High Speed Two Sir Roger said:
My Rt. Hon. Friend is to be congratulated upon having the courage and the conviction to pursue investment in our transport infrastructure through into the future. The opposition front-bench spokesman has sought to claim credit for the completion of High Speed One but of course High Speed One is not yet complete. Will the Secretary of State now ensure that High Speed One is now completed from Ashford through to Thanet?”
Responding, the Secretary of State reminded the House that it was the previous Conservative government that had instigated the High Speed One project and, while preferring to concentrate on plans for High Speed Two this afternoon” recognised the benefits that HS1 had brought to at least part of Kent and the consequent desire on the part of Sir Roger to see the project finished.
After the exchange North Thanet`s MP said:
It takes real political courage to press the case for major infrastructure projects that may not deliver results for several parliaments ahead but if nobody takes those decisions now then our grandchildren and even their children will suffer from our lack of vision today. It is shocking that there has no significant investment in a railway line north of London for more than a century and as the Secretary of State has indicated a willingness to consult and listen I hope that HS2 will be given a fair wind.
At the same time, there is small point in starting a project and then not seeing it through. The so-called fast link” from London to Ashford does not reach its potential and will not do so unless and until it is pushed through to Manston Airport and the Isle of Thanet. If the government wants a seriously good advertisement for High Speed Rail in the United Kingdom then the answer is swift and simple: pick up where the last Labour government failed and finish High Speed One”