Bill to build HS2 presented to Parliament

HS2
HS2

The bill to allow the Government to build the HS2 link between London and Birmingham goes before Parliament today.

If passed, the HS2 Hybrid Bill would give the Government the power to build and operate phase one of the £50 billion line, which would cut through Aylesbury Vale.

Patrick McLoughlin

Patrick McLoughlin

The bill is tens of thousands of pages long, the longest ever presented to Parliament.

Aylesbury MP David Lidington has faced criticism for not voting against the HS2 Paving Act, which has now received Royal Assent and frees up cash for preparatory work for the line, such as construction design and compensation payments.

Mr Lidington says his influence as a minister can help get a better deal for constituents than if he resigned.

The Government believes the line is vital to meet the rail capacity needs on the main routes into London.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “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 re-balancing 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.”

Campaigners are descending on London to protest against the bill.

If the bill is passed, construction is expected to begin in 2016 to 2017, with the line opening in 2026.