HS2 bill set for Parliament

The Government is publishing a Hybrid Bill today to get the first phase of the £50 billion HS2 high-speed rail project up and running. Opponents of the scheme are set to protest outside Parliament.

Government publishes details of HS2 route

The government today published the official bill detailing the route HS2 will take. It is 50,000 pages long and details a route across hundreds of kilometres of countryside

But the document was greeted by protests outside parliament, where campaigners from Yorkshire met with others from across the country to try to stop the project. They say it will blight their homes. Calendar's political correspondent Paul Brand reports

HS2 bill: 50,000 pages long

Political correspondent Paul Brand illustrates the length of the HS2 bill Credit: ITV Yorkshire

HS2 bill and the environmental statement that comes with it are 50,000 pages long - 5 times the height of these books.

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HS2 Bill outlines powers to turn network into reality

The HS2 Hybrid Bill that is to go before Parliament will give details on how the first phase of the high speed rail project should progress.

The High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill will provide government powers to allow the construction and operation of the railway.

It will outline powers to:

  • build and maintain the first phase of HS2 and its associated works, including secure planning permission for the works;
  • compulsorily acquire interests in the land required;
  • affect or change rights of way, including the stopping-up or diversion of highways and waterways (permanently or temporarily);
  • modify infrastructure belonging to statutory undertakers (e.g. utility companies);
  • carry out protective works to buildings and third-party infrastructure.

Read: HS2 bill set for Parliament

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HS2 the 'most ambitious' infrastructure plan since M25

The publication of the Bill for phase one of the HS2 plan marks a significant milestone in the high speed rail project. Once Royal Assent has been achieved, it is expected that construction of the line from London to Birmingham will begin in 2016/2017 allowing the line to open in 2026.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the HS2 scheme was the 'most ambitious' infrastructure plan since the building of the M25 motorway around London.

HS2 is the most ambitious and important infrastructure project in the UK since we built the M25 30 years ago, and in 30 more it will be just as integral a part of the nation's prosperity.

The Bill will give us the powers we need to get the railway built and start delivering the extra room on our railways that this country so desperately needs. It will also start the process of rebalancing the economy and bringing our great cities closer together.

That is why the Bill is so important - it marks the move from aspiration to delivery. Now is the time to be bold and ensure HS2 becomes a reality.

– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin
National

HS2 hybrid Bill to go before Parliament

The future of Britain's high speed rail network enters a key phase of its development when a HS2 hybrid Bill goes before Parliament later today.

Two trains pass through Church Fenton, North Yorkshire where it is proposed the HS2 railway will link with the East Coast Mainline. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive/Press Association Images

As part of the process, opponents of the £50 billion HS2 scheme will have the chance to petition Parliament and have their case heard by a committee of MPs.

The Government has also published an "environmental statement" for the London-Birmingham phase one of the scheme.

Read: PM orders HS2 savings review

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