Feb 28 2012 By Poppy Bradbury
MP STEVE Pound has lashed out at plans to construct a pipe alongside the proposed HS2 rail line to supply water from northern England to the parched South.
Water giant United Utilities, based in Cheshire, said the high speed rail link will provide a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to tackle water shortages in southern England.
It comes just days after London and the South-East were declared officially in states of drought following a particularly dry autumn and winter.
Mr Pound who represents Ealing North said the pipe would be more disastrous for residents than the controversial new rail line.
The pipe would be big enough to drive a Mini through and would eat into land beyond the existing rail track in the north of the borough, he said, adding:
"It may just be possible to find an accommodation in respect of HS2 that spares Northolt, Greenford and Perivale the Armageddon that so many fear but a gigantic steel tube snaking down from Cumbria to Camden is the stuff of nightmares.
"Slamming a steel serpent across the suburbs might bring more water to London but there may be no one here to drink it if our homes are flattened.
"I'll oppose this with every breath in my body."
United Utilities stressed that the £2.6billion proposal was merely an idea at the moment and no plans have been drawn up.
However, speaking of the bold idea, the company's finance chief, Russ Houlden, said: "Wacky? Maybe. But the Victorians had bold ideas when they built our existing aqueducts and the Chinese are currently building around 5,000km of pipelines and waterways for a reasonable cost - so why can't we?"
Building a north-south pipeline parallel to the HS2 route from London to Birmingham would keep costs and disruption to a minimum, he said.