Legislation crucial to the progress of HS2 was likely to clear Parliament later today despite an expected rebellion from Tory MPs.
The High Speed Rail Preparation Bill – which will allow the Government to spend money planning the route in detail and buying property from residents and businesses along the proposed track - is returning to the House of Commons tonight for a third reading.
It comes as scores of residents turned out for the latest consultation event in the region.
HS2 Ltd, the company behind the controversial rail line, held a public consultation event in Lichfield yesterday for residents affected by the scheme.
The latest property compensation consultation event at Lichfield’s Guildhall saw crowds of people attend, eager to find out more about the scheme.
When the High Speed Bill was last in the Commons, 21 Tory backbenchers voted in favour of an amendment to quash the project.
Even so, if the rebels intended to successfully vote down the Bill tonight they would have to win significantly more support and from all sides.
It is likely therefore that the legislation will pass and go on to the House of Lords where it will be further scrutinised by peers.
One of the Tory rebels is former Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan, whose constituency of Chesham and Amersham would be affected by HS2.
She said: “I want to call a division on the third reading. It gives people the opportunity to vote against it if they want to. It’s not going to make any difference, but it isn’t a pointless gesture.”
The MP said the more important documents would be the main Hybrid Bill, expected to be tabled in Parliament within weeks, and the 50,000-page environmental statement.
Labour has cooled on the £50 billion scheme, with shadow chancellor Ed Balls saying he is not prepared to write a blank cheque for the project.