Leicester

HS2 'detrimental' to East Midlands, says Andrew Bridgen MP

Toton Lane
Image caption Toton is near the border of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire

Leicestershire is taking "all of the pain" of HS2 and none of the gain, according to a Conservative MP.

HS2 announced on Tuesday that Toton, Nottinghamshire, is the only site being considered for the East Midlands hub.

Andrew Bridgen said the project would be "detrimental" to the whole region.

But an HS2 spokeswoman said it would take lorries off North West Leicestershire's roads and result in faster transport connections to the North.

'Of no use'

If Toton is approved by the government, the line will run through Mr Bridgen's North West Leicestershire constituency, although he said it was unclear exactly what the route will be.

"In Leicestershire we're taking all of the pain for none of the gain," said Mr Bridgen.

"We'd have the pleasure of driving 20 minutes north to get a train to London 20 minutes faster and pay more for the ticket. It's not going to be of any use to North West Leicestershire or Leicester itself."

HS2 spokeswoman Katherine Button said: "This project is an opportunity to bring our creaking Victorian railway infrastructure into the 21st century, bringing economic growth and boosting productivity across the country."

Image caption Andrew Bridgen is opposed to plans for HS2 running through his constituency

HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins announced on Tuesday that Toton was the only option being considered.

However, in October, Breaston in Derbyshire was also explored as an option, despite a report rejecting the idea in March 2012.

There is also doubt over Toton because of the cost, as a tunnel would have to be constructed under East Midlands Airport.

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