1. ITV Report

The High Speed Rail Bill for West Midlands clears third reading

HS2 model Credit: PA

The Transport Secretary insisted he is helping British steel companies get in the "best possible position" to supply HS2 as MPs gave the green light to begin construction of the railway.

The High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill cleared third reading, its final Commons hurdle, by 399 votes to 42, majority 357.

Both the Conservatives and Labour supported the Bill but a number of MPs, including many whose constituencies will be directly affected by the line, rebelled.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said he hopes the new line will use British-made steel to give a boost to the embattled industry.

HS2 will need approximately two million tonnes of steel over the next 10 years and we are already holding discussions with UK suppliers to make sure they are in the best possible positions to win those contracts," he said. The hybrid Bill authorises the construction and maintenance of the first phase of the London-Midlands-North rail link between the capital and Birmingham and gives the state the power to acquire necessary land to carry out the work. Mr McLoughlin said the £55.7 billion cost of the entire HS2 project is an investment Britain "can afford to make"."

– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin