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Call for reports on rail proposal

TWO Tory councillors have called on Solihull Council to commission studies into the impact of high-speed rail.

TWO Tory councillors have called on Solihull Council to commission studies into the impact of high-speed rail.

Couns Bob Sleigh (Bickenhill), and David Bell (Meriden), represent wards that will be affected by the proposals.

They say that the reports would be invaluable to community groups who don’t have the money to carry out their own research.

“These studies will look into the issues surrounding the high-speed rail proposals, and put the information in the public domain,” said Coun Sleigh.

“When proposals for a second runway were being discussed, the council used this approach and it was very effective.”

In a letter to the local authority, the councillors – both former cabinet members – said questions had been raised at recent public meetings.

Chief among them was what steps would be taken to protect local communities if the scheme is given the green light.

Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council have already commissioned studies into the £33bn proposals.

“It is important that we have available a range of information to give us the best opportunity to respond effectively on behalf of Solihull people,” added Coun Bell.

Last month, Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, announced a new preferred route, though campaigners say the plans remain unchanged for the stretch of the line that will cut through the borough.

A public consultation is due to start in February, though the scheme is unlikely to begin until 2017 at the earliest.

 

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