A NORTH Yorkshire MP has called for a meeting with the Transport Secretary over residents’ anger at the HS2 rail plans.

Following “heavy criticism” from residents of Church Fenton, Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, wrote to Chris Grayling to share their concerns and request a meeting.

He said around 120 residents raised issues in 2013, when the initial preferred route was announced, and their concerns remained.

He said: “It is very disappointing to see that the concerns of my constituents have not been addressed.”

Mr Adams said: “The design still prevents London to Newcastle HS2 services from stopping in Leeds, and therefore does nothing to improve links between these two major northern cities. Passengers between Leeds and Newcastle would have to change in York.

“Why, when many of the objections from the village concerned the concrete viaduct, has the design been made worse by extending the viaduct to over two kilometres? The viaduct passes within 200 metres of homes on the Sandwath estate.”

Mr Adams also criticised the lack of reference to the Transport for the North plans for electrification and increased running speeds on the existing line between Leeds and York, and on to Newcastle.

He said: “The target for this upgrade is to cut journey times between Leeds and Newcastle by 27 minutes, compared with an HS2 reduction of under 10 minutes between York and London.

York Press:

“What is the benefit of building several miles of HS2 to run parallel to an existing railway and to join that same railway line before it then joins the East Coast Mainline?”

Mr Adams told The Press: “While I am pleased that the proposed route for HS2 has now been confirmed, and this now enables those home owners most directly affected to take advantage of compensation it is disappointing that objections made during the various stages of consultation have not been fully addressed. The residents of Church Fenton and other villages spent many thousands of hours preparing hundreds of detailed objections and this included engineering design proposals to show how the line could be moved further away from homes in the village."