HS2 bill published

A bill on the future of the first phase of a high speed rail line from London to the Midlands has been published.

Government publishes largest ever parliamentary bill

The Transport Minister, Robert Goodwill MP, has said the government has done everything possible to minimise the environmental and community impacts for the proposed High Speed rail line, linking London to the Midlands.

Earlier today the government published its largest ever parliamentary bill to allow land to be bought and building to start on HS2.

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National

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

National

Labour: HS2 will address 'cramped, miserable journeys'

Shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh has said that Labour supports the HS2 plan as it will address the need for more rail capacity across the country.

Not everyone supports the plan as seen in an anti HS2 sign in Whittington, Staffordshire.

She said: "Labour supports HS2 because we must address the capacity problems that mean thousands of commuters face cramped, miserable journeys into Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and London.

"However, three years of Government delays and mismanagement has caused costs to balloon. Incompetent ministers have only just launched the consultation on phase 2 of the route, despite the fact that it was being worked on when Labour were in government."

Read: HS2 bill to be published

National

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

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