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Page last updated at 09:03 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Tories 'don't want a cosy deal behind closed doors'


A cross-party consensus on plans for a new high speed rail link between London and Birmingham have been stalled after the Conservatives declined an offer from the government to look at the White Paper containing details of the route.

Transport analyst Christian Wolmar explained the possible route for the new track, saying "obviously it's going to go through some areas where people don't like."

He added that a final route would be subject to public consultation "but within quite defined parameters".

Mr Wolmar outlined that a return the Tories' plans to abolish the Planning Commission responsible for the project would "take us back to the days of 3-4 year public inquiries into every aspect of national infrastructure".

Shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers defended her party's decision to decline Labour's invitation to view the details of the route. "We appreciate the offer to see the report but we do not want the report to limit the option for the Tories," she said.

"We don't want there to be some cosy deal reached behind closed doors which closes out the communities affected by the route."


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