HS2 bill introduced

The Government has published a Hybrid Bill today to get the first phase of the £50 billion HS2 high-speed rail project up and running.

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High speed rail bill presented to Parliament

A major Bill to legislate for the building of the controversial High Speed 2 rail link has been formally presented to Parliament.

The High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill was given its formal first reading by MPs in a very brief appearance where a Commons clerk read out the title of the Bill.

Bills are not debated at first reading. A key debate and vote on the principle of the legislation will be held in the coming months.

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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.

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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
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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.

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