HS2 is a real threat to Shropshire village, says Owen Paterson MP

North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson has spoken out against the government's HS2 project on behalf of his constituents in the House of Commons.

Owen Paterson told fellow members that the high-speed rail scheme is a real threat to the village of Woore, near Market Drayton.

He also called out the government on the spiralling costs of HS2 and its route, despite once backing the project.

"I remember hearing the news about this when I was in the Cabinet," he said.

"In 2010 we were told the project was going to cost a little over £30 billion. This was going to give a direct link from the north and it was going to take us straight to HS1 on the continent.

"It was also going to go directly to Heathrow which had its advantages. But that's not going to happen. We're now going to somewhere called Old Oak Common. This may be a very, very charming place. It may have many attractions but my constituent don't want to go to Old Oak Common. They want a direct link with HS1 and Heathrow.

Villagers in Woore have campaigned hard against HS2 construction traffic

"And what's happened to the money? The money is absolutely out of control. It was £30bn then £80bn. The latest is £100bn and the very worst I saw in a Sunday paper was £230bn.

"Frankly this is Victorian technology. Rolling around the country in steel boxes, with steel wheels on a steel track is Victorian."

Mr Paterson said every property in the UK could have superfast broadband for £30bn, which he claims would deliver far greater benefits than HS2.

He added: "It is with some regret that I have seen this project slip. I have seen the impact locally in Woore where there is about 1,200 people, a large primary school and a busy main road and often no pavements.

"We have been told by HS2 that there would be 600 vehicles during the construction phase. I have not got an inch out of HS2 - they have been completely inflexible and I'm completely disillusioned on this project. It is a real threat to Woore."

Mr Paterson had expected there to be a vote in the Commons on Monday night but the division was not called.

He said he was disappointed not to be able to vote against the government's HS2 motion.

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