HS2 to be built on Thame’s doorstep?

The high speed train could go straight past Thame in the proposal from the Labour Party
The high speed train could go straight past Thame in the proposal from the Labour Party

THE controversial high speed rail line could pass right next to Thame under a proposal put forward by the Labour Party.

Shadow transport minister Maria Eagle told the Airport Operators Association that the London to Birmingham line should follow parts of the M40 and Chiltern line.

HS2 maps from Labour's proposed route

HS2 maps from Labour's proposed route

If approved, the new HS2 route could pass between Haddenham and Thame, or alongside the M40 between Thame and Tetsworth.

Conservative MP for Thame, John Howell, has spoken out against the Labour proposal calling it ‘utter spite’.

He said: “Is it any surprise it is through two Conservative constituencies? It is a piece of utter spite.

“It is party politics.”

Mr Howell said he believed it was politically motivated and announced his and Conservative MP Tony Baldry’s intention to oppose it.

Critics of the proposal say it is an attempt to try to win votes in the Aylesbury and Wendover area which the current route goes through.

Mr Howell said he intended to oppose the plans and called them ‘terrible’.

Details of the plans are similar to a previous route, called route 2.5, which follows a line roughly halfway between route 3, the line past Aylesbury, and route 2, which passes nearer to Oxford.

Ms Eagle, the MP for Liverpool, suggested HS2 should link to Heathrow and it is understood her route would run closer to Bicester, Banbury and Princes Risborough, then join the original route at Leamington before continuing to Birmingham Airport and the city centre.

She said: “It would lead to a new route that makes better use of existing transport corridors and avoids an area of outstanding natural beauty.”

The original plan for route 2.5 proposed building the line 800 metres south of the existing one near Haddenham and Thame Parkway.

It would also run close to Princes Risborough.