High Speed Rail
The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Patrick
McLoughlin): With permission, Mr Speaker, I would
like to make a statement about our railways.
Investing in transport infrastructure is not a choice.
To create jobs and to rebalance our economy we need
better roads, better airports and better trains—and
High Speed 2 is a central part of that investment. It will
be an engine for growth throughout the country, which
is why I am today announcing our initial preferred
route north from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester.
These new services will reach eight out of 10 of our
largest cities: Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester,
as well as Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow and
Edinburgh. In all, 18 cities and many more towns, too,
will be served by HS2 services. It will be completely
integrated with the existing rail network; it will bring
people and businesses together; it will create an estimated
100,000 jobs; and it has the backing of businesses and
cities across Britain. We will introduce legislation for
the first phase in this Parliament and legislate for the
second in the next one. Construction is set to begin in
2017 and the first trains will run in 2026. The second
phase will be open fully by 2033.
I would like to make three further points. The first is
about the need for the line. HS2 will be the first main
line to be built north of London for almost 120 years.
Some say we do not need another, but the truth is that
we are already good at squeezing the most out of our
present Victorian railway network—and yes, we will get
even more out of it in the coming years with the massive
investmentwe have already announced.We are electrifying
800 miles of track, and building Crossrail and the
northern hub upgrade. These will help to keep us going
for the next decade or two, but what then?
Rail passenger numbers have doubled over the last
15 years, and demand will keep growing. The west coast
main line is filling up. There is not enough space for all
the commuters, freight trains and inter-city trains that
need to use it. That iswhy, after very careful consideration,
I am publishing my initial preferences for phase 2 of
HS2. The case for going ahead rests on the capacity it
will provide and on the new connections it will create.
It is not just about faster trains to London, but about
changing the way in which our great cities work and
work with each other, providing easy links on journeys
that are difficult today, giving muscle to the economies
of the cities beyond London and producing an estimated
£2 in economic benefit for every £1 spent.
Frequently, colleagues in this House call for better
services to their local stations—they are right to ask for
them—and High Speed 2 is part of the solution. Creating
free space on existing routes will allow better services
to places such as Milton Keynes, and more trains for
commuters in areas such as Staffordshire, Leeds and
Manchester. I amdetermined to ensure that the benefits
of HS2 run much wider than the places directly served
by the new line.
Let me turn to my second point. The detail of the
route I am announcing today follows the Government’s
announcements last year about phase 1 between London
and Birmingham. On the western leg from Birmingham
to Manchester, I propose two new high-speed stations.
The first will be in the heart of Manchester, alongside
the existing station at Manchester Piccadilly, allowing
easy connections to places such as Salford, Stockport
and Bolton and a journey time to London of just one
hour eight minutes, down from over two hours today.
The second station will be at Manchester airport, giving
direct access to the wider Cheshire area.
HS2 will also serve Crewe via a dedicated link, and
high-speed trains will continue on the existing railway
to Liverpool,Warrington and Runcorn, which will also
benefit greatly from reduced journey times. Further
north, near Wigan, HS2 will connect with the west
coast main line. High-speed trains can then continue at
regular speeds to places such as Preston, Carlisle,Glasgow
and Edinburgh. I am working with counterparts in
Scotland on their aspirations for high-speed rail. I have
already set out a long-term ambition to get journeys to
Scotland below three hours.
Turning to the eastern leg, we will construct three
new stations to bring people and businesses in the east
midlands and Yorkshire closer to Birmingham, the
north-east and London. The east midlands station will
be located between Nottingham and Derby at Toton,
and links will be upgraded to provide fast access to
both. The second station will be at Sheffield Meadowhall,
which already has good connections that can be improved
further, allowing it to serve all of Sheffield and south
The third station will be located in the centre of
Leeds alongside the South Bank area. As with the
western leg, there will be a connection from HS2 on to
the existing rail network. A connection to the east coast
main line, just nine miles from York, will allow the
north-east to benefit, too, with London to York taking
just one hour 23 minutes and London to Newcastle just
two hours 18 minutes.
Finally, a decision on how best to serve Heathrow
will be taken after the outcome of the Airports Commission
has been considered by the Government. From day one,
however, HS2 will provide far faster journeys than now
via a major new interchange at Old Oak Common,
linking to the Great Western main line, Crossrail and
the Heathrow express.
The third point I want to make today is about design
and help for those most affected. Many hon. Members
want the Government to take that extremely seriously,
and we do. Although the line will benefit the country as
a whole, it will also create great anxiety among those
close to the proposed route. We will therefore consult
properly, design carefully and compensate fairly. Let me
stress that today I am announcing an initial preferred
route: this is the start of the process, not the end.We are
ready to listen, and ready to improve. I want this line to
create jobs and prosperity, not harmthem.Where businesses
may be affected, we will work with them to find a
solution. We will now begin a period of informal
consultation on phase 2 that will inform the official
public consultation, which was originally planned for
2014 but which, I can announce, will be brought forward
to this year. The aim is to reach a firm decision on the
route of phase 2 in 2014.
I understand how such proposals can affect property
markets. Compensation will therefore be as generous as
on the first phase, and more generous than when we
built the motorways. Today I am launching a public
consultation on the exceptional hardship scheme for
671 28 JANUARY 2013 High Speed Rail 672
those who must sell but cannot do so because of HS2.
Under this scheme we will pay the full price, valued as if
there were no HS2. That will be followed by the next
stage of our property compensation scheme once the
final route is confirmed.
There are not many issues on which political parties
in the House agree, but this is one of them. Regardless
of the nature of the Government when the first trains
run in 13 years’ time, what matters are the jobs, the
rebalancing of the economy, and our country’s future
prosperity. I commend this statement to the House.
Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood) (Lab): I thank
the Secretary of State for providing a copy of his
statement in advance.
As the Secretary of State was generous enough to say
in his foreword to the Government’s Command Paper,
which was published today, HS2 is a project that was
started by the last Government. Having successfully
built HS1, Britain’s first new railway line for more than
100 years, we were determined that the rest of the
country, not just the south-east, should benefit from
vital investment to increase capacity and reduce journey
times on our railway.
I assure the Secretary of State and the House that we
are 100% behind this project. We want to see the line
built, and we will continue to offer cross-party support,
which will include helping to ensure that the necessary
legislation reaches the statute book. I know that the
Secretary of State faces considerable challenges in securing
the support of colleagues on his side of the House. I
have spent much of today defending the project in
interviews opposite Conservative Members. I hope and
assume that the right hon. Gentleman’s lengthy experience
as Chief Whip will come in handy when it comes to
quelling the rebellions.
The reason why we need to build this new high-speed
railway line is clear: capacity. Our existing three main
routes between north and south are congested, and in
the case of the west coast line, nearly full. If we do not
act now, we will face even worse overcrowding. Doing
nothing is not an option. Continuing to patch and
mend our existing lines is no longer good enough, and
will not bring us the major reductions in journey times
that HS2 will deliver.
Given the importance of the scheme, I wonder whether
the Secretary of State appreciates the level of frustration
at the slowprogress made so far in the current Parliament.
The consultation on the first phase has been botched,
not by him, but in his Department. Submissions have
been lost, and the Government now face defeat in the
courts, which has the potential to take us back to square
one on the consultation. The draft route for the second
phase was finally set out only today, two and a half
years after the election. No legislation has been published.
Today’s Command Paper suggests that Royal Assent to
the Secretary of State’s first hybrid Bill will not be
achieved until some point in 2015, not by the time of
the next election as was previously intended. This scheme
is too important to be subject either to further delays or
to incompetence in the Department for Transport. I
hope that the Secretary of State will now do all that he
can both to speed up progress and to avoid any further
On the judicial review, will the Secretary of State update
the House on when he expects to receive a judgment,
and on the impact that a ruling against his Department
would have on the plans that he has set out today?
Let me now turn to the specific details of the route
announced by the Secretary of State. First, will the
right hon. Gentleman think again about his decision to
commit himself only to introducing legislation covering
the first phase of the line from London to Birmingham
in the current Parliament? Of course it is true that a
single Bill would need to await completion of the
consultation on the second phase of the route, but by
introducing the Bill later in this Parliament and carrying
it over to the next—as we did with the legislation for the
building of Crossrail—we would secure Parliament’s
approval for the whole route earlier than we would
under the Government’s plans. That would open up the
possibility of beginning construction in the north as
well as the south, which is something that the Transport
Committee has urged the Government to consider.
Secondly, will the Secretary of State look again at the
issue of connectivity between HS1 and HS2, which
many, including his own party’s Mayor of London and
alsoTransport for London, believe to be totally inadequate?
The proposal to make use of an existing part of the
North London line looks like a back-of-an-envelope fix
that is not focused on the long-term potential for
international rail travel. Surely we need to build a
dedicated, purpose-built link between HS1 and HS2.
I urge him to look at this again.
Thirdly, will the Secretary of State listen carefully to
the concerns that he will have heard today about the
decision not to connect HS2 with our major city centres
in some instances? I appreciate the difficulty, not least
in terms of engineering and cost, of taking a new rail
line into an existing major rail station and enabling
through services, yet the consequences of not doing so
are potentially economically to disadvantage city centres
and encourage out-of-town development; and passengers
losing much of the journey time savings achieved by
using the new line as they transfer to get to their city
centre destination. I know that there are differing views
on this from city to city, and there is no single right
answer, but the Secretary of State’s proposals today
make it clear that the recommendations are just “initial”
recommendations and I hope that that indicates a
willingness to continue a dialogue on these issues, not
least with the cities themselves.
Finally, will the Secretary of State accept that today’s
decision to kick into the long grass how HS2 will
connect to Heathrow is a major error? As he knows, our
preference, as a result of our policy review, is to take the
line direct via Heathrow. That was the Conservative
party’s position before the last election and I am sorry
that it no longer supports it. However, theGovernment’s
compromise of a spur was at least a recognition of the
need to provide a direct link to Heathrow from HS2.
Abandoning that today sets back the potential for HS2
to deliver transfer traffic to our hub airport via high-speed
rail rather than short-haul flights, an approach that has
the potential to free up valuable slots that could be used
for new long-haul flights to serve emerging markets.
The Secretary of State says that that decision has
been taken because the Davies commission on aviation
will not report back before 2015. Surely the answer is
not to delay decisions on HS2 but to speed them up on
673 High Speed Rail 28 JANUARY 2013 High Speed Rail 674
aviation. Will the Government finally accept that 2015
is far too late to have an answer to our longer-term
aviation capacity needs?Will he agree to our call for the
commission to produce its final report way in advance
of 2015, enabling cross-party talks on a way forward
that can be put to people at the next election? That
would deliver the certainty needed not just for aviation,
but on the route for HS2.
I hope that the Secretary of State will consider those
four issues in the spirit in which they are raised.We seek
to improve the Government’s proposals, because it is
vital that we get this right if all the benefits we all seek
are to be realised.
Mr McLoughlin: May I start by thanking the hon.
Lady for the support that she gives, in principle, to the
project? I fully accept that HS1 was finished by the
previous Government, but if we needed to get into a
debating argument, I could say that it was started by the
previous ConservativeGovernment,who had the foresight
to say how important it would be. Anyone who uses
St Pancras station will have seen what a vast difference
has been made to that station since HS1. It used to be
a station that nobody wanted to go to, but now it is a
destination in itself. I wanted to make that particular
The hon. Lady raised a number of points. She said
that I will have certain strong voices against me on this
side of the House, but I dare say—I know this from
some of the letters I have received fromLabourMembers—
there will be some vocal opponents on her side of the
House too. We will see how the debate goes, but that is
the case. She also asked me to speculate on what might
happen in the judicial review. I may have been in the
Whips Office for 17 years, but I amnot prepared to start
speculating from the Dispatch Box on what the courts
may or may not say. We will wait to hear what is said,
because a judicial review has taken place. I believe that
the Government have acted properly in the way this has
gone forward, but we will wait to see what happens
The hon. Lady talked about how some cities are
disappointed not to have stations directly in the city
centre. As I said in my statement, this is the start of the
process and not the end of it, but I say to her that HS2 is
not just about serving cities; it is about serving the
regions, and so this goes a lot wider than just the cities.
Some cities will have a station in them, because of the
way in which things have been constructed and the way
in which we can engineer into them. In certain other
areas the engineering is much more difficult and a lot
more expensive, but as I have said, we will of course
listen. I have engaged with the city leaders—I know that
some of them will be disappointed that I have not been
able to say to those cities exactly where the route has
gone until today—and so that process is there.
The hon. Lady talks about having a greater link
between HS1 and HS2, and I am certainly prepared—I
have received representations from the right hon. Member
for East Ham (Stephen Timms), who is sitting directly
behind her—to look at how that can be done. However,
it is true to say that, even as presently announced, HS2
will be able to serve areas of the continent direct if there
is a demand and need for that.
The hon. Lady made the point about Heathrow. The
Government have set up a commission to try to get a
consensus.We have awelcome consensus on HS2—crossparty
consensus on big infrastructure projects is a
tremendous advantage because of the time that such
projects naturally take. However, it is right to see what
the Davies commission says.
The hon. Lady’s final point was to ask whether we
could hold the project off and bring the measures
together in one Bill. That would lead to a tremendous
delay. There would not just be a delay while we consulted,
but a delay while the environmental assessment was
conducted and consulted on. Far from making the
process quicker, it would be delayed; I estimate that it
would mean we probably could not have a Bill ready
until 2018. I want a Bill to begin its progress in this
Parliament. Of course, how the Bill progresses is up to
Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham) (Con):
Today, Mr Speaker, thousands of people will be faced
with the blight and uncertainty that you and I are
familiar with, because our constituents across
Buckinghamshire have suffered it for nearly four years.
If the Government are determined to have HS2 and to
force it through, and as the Secretary of State has
stressed that the economic need is greater in the north,
why not really reconsider and start HS2 in the north so
that the benefits are more immediate and the connectivity
to the south-east and on to global markets through the
as yet undecided hub airport can be better guaranteed
and integrated? Would not that make more common
Mr McLoughlin: I know how my right hon. Friend
feels on this subject, and I appreciate how Members
whose constituencies have the line going through them
have strong representations tomake in the House.However,
starting the route in the north, on which, up until today,
work had not been done, would not be a better way of
getting greater connectivity and connections.We should
bear in mind that the routes I have said are overcrowded
are even more overcrowdedwhen they come into London,
which is where we need the extra capacity in the first
Frank Dobson (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab): The
Secretary of State has said that he will ensure that
people are compensated fairly. In December 2010, his
predecessor said exactly the same thing about the people
in my constituency who are affected by the first phase.
However, at a meeting on Thursday in my constituency,
officials from HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport
made it crystal clear to many people living near Euston
station, including some of those who had exercised
their right to buy their council flats, that they would not
be fully compensated, and that others, including people
whose businesses will be totally destroyed, will not be
compensated at all. Can we rely on the Secretary of
State to ensure that, when he says one thing in the
House of Commons, his officials do not set it aside in
Mr McLoughlin: I believe the Under-Secretary of
State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for
Lewes (Norman Baker), gave the right hon. Gentleman
an assurance on that point last Friday. I am certainly
675 High Speed Rail 28 JANUARY 2013 High Speed Rail 676
prepared to meet the right hon. Gentleman to discuss
these matters and to try and clear up what confusion
there seems to be.
Sir Alan Haselhurst (Saffron Walden) (Con): In view
of the continued drift from north to south, which has
been a characteristic of this country for many decades,
and which places enormous pressure on services and
facilities in constituencies such as mine, should not HS2
be hailed as the most dramatic attempt yet to correct
that national imbalance to the advantage of the country
as a whole?
Mr McLoughlin: When HS2 is fully up and built, it
will have a major impact on the north and will help
dramatically to rebalance the economy, which is so
desperately needed. I amgrateful formy right hon.Friend’s
Helen Jones (Warrington North) (Lab): Is the Secretary
of State aware that there is great concern inWarrington
because it will not get an HS2 station? Warrington has
developed its economy based on its good transport
links, but we are unsure whether trains running on the
existing line from Crewe will be sufficient. There is also
concern that the line that will join the west coast main
line at Wigan goes through parts of my constituency
along a linear park, so we get the disruption without the
benefits. Will he undertake to work with Warrington
borough council and other interested parties to consider
alternatives so that Warrington can benefit from HS2?
Mr McLoughlin: Of course, I am prepared to do that
and I am sure thatWarrington council will want to take
part in the consultation I announced today.Warrington
will be served in the same way as Liverpool and other
areas, such as Wigan, but of course I will consider the
hon. Lady’s representations. I want to make it clear that
today is the start of the process, not the end. It is,
however, the start of a very important and beneficial
process for the United Kingdom.
MrAlanReid (Argyll and Bute) (LD): Liberal Democrats
verymuchwelcome the announcement today that journey
times to Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh
will be reduced by almost an hour. I also welcome the
Secretary of State’s aspiration to reduce the journey
time to Scotland to three hours.How are his discussions
with the Scottish Government about that aspiration
Mr McLoughlin: I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I
announced my proposals for Scotland last October, but
I have been concentrating on the proposals I have set
out today for the moment. However, my right hon.
Friend the Minister of State spoke to members of the
Scottish Government about the scheme and they are
keen to be involved.
Mrs Louise Ellman (Liverpool, Riverside) (Lab/Co-op):
I welcome today’s statement, which represents important
investment for the future, but will the Secretary of State
confirm that that will be part of investment in an
integrated national rail system so that areas that are not
on the high-speed line will benefit, too?
Mr McLoughlin: Indeed I can. I am grateful to the
Chairman of the Select Committee on Transport, who I
know will probably want to carry out a detailed inquiry
into this matter. Although it is true that some areas are
not covered by high-speed rail at the moment, it will go
up to Birmingham in the first instance and then to
Manchester, and journeys will be able to carry on from
there, as they do in Kent on the line that goes down to
Sir Roger Gale (North Thanet) (Con): Thank you,
Mr Speaker; your calling me was timely. My right hon.
Friend is to be congratulated on having the courage and
conviction to seek to drive through investment in this
country’s infrastructure future. The hon. Member for
Garston and Halewood (Maria Eagle) sought to take
the credit for High Speed 1, but the problem with that is
that it is not finished at all. Will my right hon. Friend,
while he is doing all this, ensure that HS1 runs through
from Ashford to Thanet?
Mr McLoughlin: My hon. Friend sees the advantage
of high-speed rail down to certain parts of Kent and
wants to extend it. I am sure that he will carry on
making that case, but at the moment I hope he will
forgive me for saying that I want to try to concentrate
on the plans I have announced today, although we are
always looking to improve services across the country.
Paul Blomfield (Sheffield Central) (Lab): The Secretary
of State is right:what matters are the jobs.An independent
study conducted for SouthYorkshire passenger transport
executive and Sheffield city council shows that a station
in the city centre would bring up to £5 billion more into
the local economy than a station at Meadowhall and
would create 6,500 more jobs. Will the Secretary of
State commit to keeping an open mind on that option?
MrMcLoughlin: I said at the beginning of my statement
that I would keep an open mind. I accept the points
about Sheffield and I knowthat there will be disappointment
that HS2 is not going directly into the city centre. We
have tried to ensure that we serve the whole of the
region through the Meadowhall station, but as I have
said, today is the start of the process and we will enter
into discussions, as I have told the leader of Sheffield
city council, with all the prominent leaders in the area.
Mr Graham Brady (Altrincham and SaleWest) (Con):
I warmly endorse the proposed station at Manchester
airport, but may I also stress the importance of the
point that compensation for those living close to the
route should be not only generous but creative in ensuring
that we can move as quickly as possible towards realising
the new high-speed rail route?
Mr McLoughlin: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for
that question. We are consulting on compensation, and
at the moment we are part of the way through that
consultation. He makes an extremely important point,
and I am glad that he welcomes the fact that we will
serve Manchester airport as well as Manchester.
Mr Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) (Lab): Would it not
make a lot more sense for the Secretary of State to tell
the Chancellor that he ought to be spending £33 billion
straight away on capital projects—housing and all the
677 High Speed Rail 28 JANUARY 2013 High Speed Rail 678
[Mr Dennis Skinner]
rest? As for Derbyshire, why is it that the preferred route
seems to travel to the heavily populated eastern side of
Derbyshire? I do not think it touches Derbyshire Dales
at all. How many homes will be blighted as a result?
Mr McLoughlin: Many things can change—people in
the Whips Office can become Ministers—but one thing
is certain: the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr Skinner)
will come out with the same arguments against any
proposals. [Interruption.] He wants us to spend money
now.We are spending money now.We have had massive
investment in the railways and we have announced
massive investment in the railways. He points out that
the route does not go through my constituency. I am
well aware of that, but I can assure him that I took very
careful advice and followed the recommendations. The
sustainability summary goes into great detail about why
that particular part of the route was chosen. There are
many people who would have liked it to go to Derby.
Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con): I
declare an interest. Plans unveiled this morning suggest
that the preferred route of HS2 will pass within 100 feet
of my family’s home in North West Leicestershire. Can
my right hon. Friend confirm the level of consultation
already undertaken by those planning the HS2 route?
East Midlands airport in my constituency was unaware
until this morning’s announcement that a tunnel was
planned under its site, and a developer of an area north
of the airport looking to produce a rail freight interface
was equally not consulted. The route puts in jeopardy a
potential £450 million private sector investment now in
my constituency, and the creation of up to 7,000 new
Mr McLoughlin: There is always a dilemma for us as
to who we talk to and consult. It would have been
wrong of me to start telling people where the route was
going before I had laid the documents before Parliament
this morning. We will start that consultation. If my
hon. Friend has had a chance to look at the sustainability
summary that goes with the document I published
today, he will have seen on page 70 that the area he is
talking about is marked for tunnelling under East Midlands
airport, and the east midlands gateway rail freight
interchange development site is clearly marked. We will
obviously work with developers to minimise the impact
wherever we can.
John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington) (Lab): The
decision to delay the recommendations on the Heathrow
spur until the Howard Davies commission has reported
means that my constituents face at least another two
years of uncertainty. Is not one solution to bring forward
the Davies report, as my hon. Friend the Member for
Garston and Halewood (Maria Eagle) suggested? Even
if the Davies commission’s interim report this year dealt
with the matter, we would have more certainty about
the connection with Heathrow.
Mr McLoughlin: I hear what the hon. Gentleman
says. I have made clear the Government’s position as to
why we have done what we have done. We think it is a
sensible way to go but I am sure he will make those
representations in the consultation process.
Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con): Although I accept
the need for an additional line to relieve capacity on the
rail network, this route plunges through rural Britain,
and rural Staffordshire, and should use existing transport
corridors. It blights the environment, homes and lives.
Does my right hon. Friend understand that what my
constituents and all our constituents need is certainty,
so that they understand the impact the line will have,
what vibrations it will produce and what the visual
impact will be? Most important of all, they need certainty
about what compensation they will receive.
Mr McLoughlin: Part of the reason for bringing
forward the consultation period from next year to this
year is to help my hon. Friend’s constituents, but I fully
accept that where the line is going is inconvenient to
some people. We cannot build a brand-new railway line
and not upset anybody. We believe that it is very much
in the national interest and in the interests of the United
Mr Gerry Sutcliffe (Bradford South) (Lab): It was a
great pleasure to see the Secretary of State and the
Prime Minister on platform 6 at Leeds station this
morning. He knows the benefits of HS2 to areas such as
Leeds and Bradford. This is a long-term project and
there are two projects in the short term that will help
both Leeds and Bradford—the links to the airport so
that it can expand and theWortley curve between Leeds
and Bradford. Will he look at those projects as well?
Mr McLoughlin: It was a pleasure also to see the hon.
Gentleman this morning. I hope that as a result of
having announced in this way where the route will go,
improvements can be achieved in the interim period in
some of these areas. I have talked to Leeds city council
about the site that we have earmarked, and it is, as I
understand it, content with it.
Andrea Leadsom (South Northamptonshire) (Con):
The consultation on compensation for phase 1 ends this
week. First, I urge my right hon. Friend not to take the
word of his departmental officials but to look himself
at the impact of the exceptional hardship scheme on
many constituentswhose lives have been utterly destroyed
by incompetent and completely inconsistent panels.
Secondly, I urge him to reconsider a property bond.
Although officials have said there is no evidence that
that works, it would be the one way to ensure that the
blight that extends for miles in my constituency is
removed. Finally, I urge him to look at the fairness of
compensation between phase 1 and phase 2.
Mr McLoughlin: As my hon. Friend correctly said,
the consultation period on the compensation scheme
ends at the end of this week. I know that she has put
her own representations into that consultation, and
of course I will consider them among many of the other
representations we have received.
Mr Clive Betts (Sheffield South East) (Lab): I welcome
the Secretary of State’s announcement of an HS2 station
in Sheffield. There is an argument for having it in the
city centre, but I understandwhy he has chosenMeadowhall
on grounds of cost and time. In particular, it should be
a station for the whole city region.Will he therefore give
an assurance that his Department will work closely with
679 High Speed Rail 28 JANUARY 2013 High Speed Rail 680
local councils and South Yorkshire passenger transport
executive to make sure that there is real connectivity in
the whole Sheffield city region so that everyone can get
to the station at Meadowhall easily?
Mr McLoughlin: I amgrateful to the hon. Gentleman.
He is a former leader of Sheffield city council and
therefore speaks with authority on this matter, as he
does in his role as Chairman of the Communities and
Local Government Committee, so I will obviously look
at those matters. He is right that there is a balance to be
struck. He will see that in the document we address why
have arrived at the conclusions and recommendations
that we have, but I am of course prepared to listen to
any further representations.
Mr John Leech (Manchester, Withington) (LD): I
warmly welcome the Secretary of State’s announcement,
particularly the decision to have an additional station at
Manchester airport.However, there will be some anxiety
among people in south Manchester about the proposal
to have a deep tunnel under homes there.What assurances
can he give that they will not face years of disruption?
Mr McLoughlin:When carrying out these big projects,
there will always be the problem of inconvenience caused
during the period of construction, and I hear what the
hon. Gentleman says.We willwork with localcommunities
to try to ensure that we minimise the impact. I am glad
that the area he mentions is to be tunnelled; a lot of
colleagues would wish that more of the route was
Ann Coffey (Stockport) (Lab): I support this
announcement, but it is estimated that it could take up
to 20 years to build the line to Manchester. Will the
Secretary of State assure me that in the meantime
priority is given to making sure that the west coast main
line gets the investment needed to improve the current
line from London to Manchester, including upgrading
MrMcLoughlin: The hon. Lady is consistent, if nothing
else can be said about the points that she makes; I had
already anticipated the question before she had finished
asking it. Yes, money is continuing to be spent on the
west coast main line. I will look into the position with
her local station, as I promised to last time she asked me
a question. I failed to write to her then, and I will
certainly do so this time.
Richard Harrington (Watford) (Con): I commend the
Secretary of State and theGovernment on this courageous
and very significant announcement on HS2. It is particularly
of interest to the cities with new stations, but what does
he think the effect will be on my constituents in a place
that will not be directly affected but is suffering from
very poor capacity and a very poor service from London
Mr McLoughlin: My hon. Friend hits on one of the
fundamental reasons why we need to build HS2. It is
not just a matter of journey times but capacity. Freeing
up capacity will allow us to have more services from
areas such as my hon. Friend’s, as is so desperately
Stewart Hosie (Dundee East) (SNP): I welcome the
statement, thank the Secretary of State for advanced
notice of it and recognise the Government’s ambitions
for reduced journey times to Scotland. However, reducing
journey times to Glasgow and Edinburgh, and further
along the east coast to Dundee and Aberdeen, would
require HS2 to go beyond Manchester and Leeds. I
know that the Secretary of State is doing this in a
phased way, but when will he be in a position to tell the
House the time scale for the completion of HS2, so that
every major city on the island will be able to benefit
Mr McLoughlin: I face a dilemma because some
people want us to go a lot faster while others among my
colleagues do not want us to go at all. We will have to
bear that in mind, but I hope that we will have fuller
plans before any decision is made about independence.
That depends, however, on whether the hon. Gentleman
can let me know the date of the referendum.
Iain Stewart (MiltonKeynes South) (Con): I welcome
my right hon. Friend’s statement, particularly how it
has highlighted the benefits of the network to my
constituents in Milton Keynes. On the issue of city
centre against parkway stations,may I draw his attention
to the evidence from the continent that both can work
and that the critical point is having good connectivity
across the region? May I also urge him to continue
to work with local authorities and local businesses to
make sure that this delivers?
Mr McLoughlin: I thank my hon. Friend for his
support and, indeed, for his work on the Transport
Committee. I agree entirely with his point. Setting out
our plans now and confirming them, I hope, by early
next year will enable us to look at connectivity between
stations in the period between our plans being outlined
and the actual development.
Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton) (Lab):
There is tremendous support for this project in Manchester
and the north of England, but, having heard from the
right hon. Member for Chesham and Amersham
(Mrs Gillan) that, surprisingly, she supports building
HS2 from the north of England, will the Secretary of
State reconsider what he said earlier and put both
phases of HS2 into one hybrid Bill and consider building
them from the north of England? In doing so, he would
unite the House in an even bigger way than it is united
Mr McLoughlin: The hon. Gentleman says that that
would unite the House in a more cohesive way, but it is
fairly united for such a controversial subject, as has
been clear from the exchanges so far. As I have said, the
proposals to go from north to south would mean further
delay, and I point out that the first part of the route was
actually published by the previous Government, who
also thought that the right way to go was from London
to Birmingham in the first instance.
Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford) (Con): I thank the Secretary
of State for his announcement. It is vital that the best
possible mitigation, including some realignment, is offered
to those of my constituents who will be affected by the
route. If HS2 is to bring jobs and prosperity, as he
681 High Speed Rail 28 JANUARY 2013 High Speed Rail 682
desires, to the wider west midlands region, a stop on the
route is required in Staffordshire. May I ask him to take
that fully into account?
Mr McLoughlin: I certainly will. My hon. Friend
makes a valid point. The route goes substantially through
his constituency and areas that are not near motorway
corridors or the like, and I will certainly look at his
Lucy Powell (Manchester Central) (Lab/Co-op): On
behalf of Manchester, I strongly welcome the proposals
that the Secretary of State has laid before Parliament
today, not, as others have said, as a panacea to stop the
north-south divide, but to build on 15 years of urban
renaissance started by the Labour council and Labour
Government. The redevelopment opportunities presented
inmy constituency in and around Manchester Piccadilly
station are also exciting. May I echo the comments of
other colleagues and ask the Secretary of State to
consider introducing a hybrid Bill, so thatwe can maximise
those opportunities here and now, not several years in
Mr McLoughlin: I welcome the hon. Lady to the
House and to the Transport Committee, where she will
no doubt want to return to this topic on many occasions.
I was slightly chastised earlier by the hon. Member for
Garston and Halewood (Maria Eagle) on what the
courts may or may not say about HS2. If I followed the
route suggested by the hon. Member for Manchester
Central (Lucy Powell), I know that I would find myself
on the wrong side of judicial reviews.
John Stevenson (Carlisle) (Con): I welcome the
announcement on the developments on HS2 and the
substantial investment in our rail network. However,
will the Secretary of State confirm that the existing west
coast line will continue to receive the investment that it
requires? In particular, will signalling upgrades be more
than just like-for-like and bring capacity improvements?
Mr McLoughlin: I can assure my hon. Friend of that.
Over the new year, I saw the upgrading work at
Shugborough tunnel. That is the sort of investment that
no one normally sees. Until that work was done, trains
could go through the tunnel at only 50 mph. They can
now go through it at 125 mph. I fully accept the need for
continued investment. My hon. Friend’s constituents
will benefit from High Speed 2 up to Manchester and
will be able to pick up the normal lines beyond that.
Stephen Pound (Ealing North) (Lab): May I strongly
endorse what the hon. Member for South Northamptonshire
(Andrea Leadsom) said about property bonds?
The Secretary of State is speaking about phase 2, but he
has mentioned Old Oak Common. Although I am
extremely grateful to the Minister of State, Department
for Transport, the right hon. Member for Chelmsford
(Mr Burns) for his engagement with the local community,
fear still stalks the streets of Greenford, Northolt and
Perivale.Will the Secretary of State say whether it is his
preference for that section of the line to be tunnelled?
If so, it will be a great relief to many long-suffering
constituents of mine.
Mr McLoughlin: The hon. Gentleman is making a
representation to me that he has made before to the
Minister of State. We will consider that representation
and when we are in a position to make an announcement,
we will do so.
Andrew Jones (Harrogate and Knaresborough) (Con):
I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his excellent
statement. Does he agree that this investment should be
seen alongside the other major rail announcements for
the north that have been made recently, such as those
on the northern hub and the TransPennine Express
electrification project?Together, those projects will transform
the experience of rail in the north.
Mr McLoughlin: I agree completely with my hon.
Friend. Those announcements show the Government’s
commitment to the rail industry and to the railway
services that we all want in our constituencies.
Mr Jim Cunningham (Coventry South) (Lab): Will
the Secretary of State say how major cities such as
Coventry will benefit from this project, bearing in mind
the representations that I made to him some weeks ago
on that matter? Secondly, and more importantly, there
will inevitably be peoplewho fall outside the compensation
formula.What does he intend to do about that, because
I know of cases in Coventry and Warwickshire?
Mr McLoughlin: I am willing to listen to any
representations, but a line has to be drawn somewhere
on such developments. I think that Coventry will be
served by the large station at the Birmingham International
exchange before the line goes into Birmingham Curzon
Street. It is up to Coventry to work with the Department
to work out the best possible routes to link in with the
line so that people in Coventry have the advantage of
Nigel Mills (Amber Valley) (Con): I warmly welcome
the announcement and especially the fact that the route
will miss my constituency off to the east. Will the
Secretary of State confirm that there will be good links
not only to Nottingham and Derby, but to smaller local
stations, such as the three in my constituency?
Mr McLoughlin: I am grateful to my hon. Friend and
constituency neighbour. As I have said, capacity is one
of the key reasons for building the new route. It will be
the first railway line to be built north of London in
120 years.We need extra capacity. By freeing up capacity,
the line will enable there to be better services elsewhere.
Paul Goggins (Wythenshawe and Sale East) (Lab): I,
too,welcome the proposed station at Manchester airport,
which will help to sustain many new jobs across the city
region and particularly within airport city and other
parts of theManchester enterprise zone inmy constituency.
Will the Secretary of State ensure that those who are
responsible for HS2 continue to work closely with the
local authorities and the airport so that these different
initiatives are properly linked together and bring the
maximum possible benefit to local communities?
Mr McLoughlin: I thank the right hon. Gentleman
for his support and for his attendance at last week’s
meeting of the all-party parliamentary group on high
683 High Speed Rail 28 JANUARY 2013 High Speed Rail 684
speed rail. I can give him that assurance. As I said
earlier, this is the start of the process, not the end. We
want to get the maximum possible value out of the
Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire) (Con): On
a number of recent occasions, trains pulling into Leighton
Buzzard station have been so full that no passenger has
been able to get from the platform on to the train. Will
HS2 help them?
Mr McLoughlin: I verymuch hope so.My hon. Friend
makes a point about the important need for greater
capacity, and I will look in great detail at how the issue
may affect his constituents.
Mr David Anderson (Blaydon) (Lab): Without any
three-lane motorway north of north Yorkshire, and
with a dual carriageway that ends just north of Newcastle,
the north-east has the worst road system in the country.
We are nowbeing told thatwewill also have a second-rate
railway system. Does the Secretary of State agree that
the best we are going to get in the north-east is HS1.5?
Mr McLoughlin: I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman
feels thatway.We have just announced a major investment
in dualling the A1 up to Newcastle, and I will look at
other schemes in due course.
Mr Adrian Sanders (Torbay) (LD): May I lodge with
the Secretary of State some very real concerns from the
far south-west in Devon and Cornwall? The area already
suffers from the slowest rail speeds and most expensive
fares, yet billions of pounds are being invested elsewhere.
What message can he give the people of Devon and
Cornwall that they will benefit directly fromthat investment?
Mr McLoughlin: I very much recognise the position
faced by the hon. Gentleman’s constituents as far as the
great western line is concerned, and I have organised a
special briefing for Members of Parliament fromNetwork
Rail about that section of the rail network. As a new
member of theTransport Committee, the hon. Gentleman
will want to keep that under guard.
Stephen Timms (East Ham) (Lab): May I press the
Secretary of State on the concern raised by my hon.
Friend the Member for Garston and Halewood (Maria
Eagle) about the HS2-HS1 interconnection? As I
understand, under current proposals it will be limited
to, at most, three trains per hour. As I am sure the
Secretary of State will want trains from new HS2
destinations to run beyond London and across the
channel, will we not have to do better than that with the
Mr McLoughlin: I think I tried to address that in an
earlier answer. Of course I want to look at how the
connection works, and it will be possible to run some
services from Old Oak Common direct to the continent
if there is demand for that.We will certainly look at the
issue, and at how the whole London interconnection
David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): This project
is very important to the wider economy in the north and
north-west. Given that the revised business case remains
considerably better than, for example, theCrossrail business
case, will the Secretary of State do what he can to
deliver this project before 2033?
Mr McLoughlin: I take that as a request to get a move
on and get building a lot quicker. We will see what
progress we can make.
Robert Flello (Stoke-on-Trent South) (Lab): Although
the Secretary of State’s comments about Staffordshire
provide some crumbs of comfort, may I impress on him
that unless we have a station in the north Staffordshire
area the damage that will be done to our economy will
be huge? Conversely, if we get one, the benefits will be
Mr McLoughlin: As I said at the beginning of my
statement, and as I shall now reiterate, these are our
initial proposals. We have considered the issue, and I
hope the hon. Gentleman will look at the early part of
the sustainability study, particularly page 10, which
shows the work that went in to try and model this.
However, I hear what he says, and whatmy hon. Friends
the Members for Stafford (Jeremy Lefroy) and for Lichfield
(Michael Fabricant) are calling for.
David Rutley (Macclesfield) (Con): This is positive
news for the north-west. What assessment has my right
hon. Friend made of the impact that HS2 will have on
existing west coast main line services and, not to put too
fine a point on it, services to and from Macclesfield
Mr McLoughlin: As I have said—I hope I am not
becoming boring by being repetitious—we are hoping
for greater capacity not only so that my hon. Friend’s
constituents are served, but so thatwe see somemovement
of freight from road to rail.
Hugh Bayley (York Central) (Lab): I welcome the
statement and especially the wise and logical decision to
connect the High Speed 2 line with the east coast main
line at York. Does the Secretary of State realise that
next toYork station is the biggest city centre development
site anywhere in western Europe—the York Central
site? It is important for his officials to safeguard land
on that site for additional platforms to get maximum
connectivity with conventional rail services, and for
local government Ministers to work with York city
council to ensure that the area is developed as a business
site to benefit from the new railway.
Mr McLoughlin: I am very pleased that the hon.
Gentleman is so welcoming of the development. High
Speed 2 will stop just short of York, but it will obviously
be served by it. One of the things that we want to look
at with this project is how we get regeneration in areas.
This should open up huge potential, especially around
station sites, for the north to benefit from connections
with the rest of the country.
Christopher Pincher (Tamworth) (Con): I became
aware that the proposed Leeds alignment will run just a
few hundred yards from Wilnecote and Stoneydelph
in my constituency when I looked at the HS2 website
this morning. Will my right hon. Friend agree to meet
me to discuss mitigations in the Tamworth area if his
685 High Speed Rail 28 JANUARY 2013 High Speed Rail 686
initial preferred alignment becomes his final preferred
alignment? More particularly, can we discuss other,
Mr McLoughlin: I am certainly prepared to meet my
hon. Friend and discuss alternatives that hemay wish to
put forward. I hope that he will realise that in deciding
on the route through his constituency we have tried to
follow an existing major road network. Of course, I will
meet him and listen carefully to any representations he
has to make.
Ian Austin (Dudley North) (Lab): I strongly support
High Speed 2 and very much welcome today’s
announcement. The Secretary of State will no doubt
have followed the debate about the arrangements between
Birmingham International and the city centre. May I
suggest that a way of dealing with that controversy and
its unpopularity in certain areas would be to take the
route along the existing line north of the city and,
instead of having the link in the city centre, have it close
to the M5/M6 junction in the black country, alongside
the M6 at Walsall? There is a huge railway yard there
already, and it would have much better links across the
black country and Birmingham. It would support exactly
what the Secretary of State has said about rebalancing
the economy, because it has the largest concentration of
manufacturers anywhere in western Europe. It would
greatly help with the regeneration of the black country,
and it would be easier, cheaper and quicker to build.
Mr Speaker: It sounds to me as though the hon.
Gentleman wants an Adjournment debate on the subject.
Mr McLoughlin: If the hon. Gentleman has one,
I will make sure that a Minister answers it properly. I
would need to look a bit more closely at the maps, but
I think that he is doing the opposite to what most other
colleagues with city centre sites are doing. He is asking
meto take it froma city centre, and he is thus demonstrating
the problems that we have in trying to get a route
established and accepted by everyone and that serves
the best areas of the country.
Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) (Con): The Secretary
of State said that this proposal must benefit all our
regions, and he will know that the best part of our
region lies to the east, in the Humber. Can he confirm
whether work will begin now on how we can improve
our connectivity into Sheffield Meadowhall or say how
we can benefit from the increased capacity on the east
Mr McLoughlin: The truth is that my hon. Friend is
looking forward to the benefits that will come from this.
Part of the reason for making the announcements now
is that once we have the route signed off—it is out for
consultation—we can look at getting the right connections
into these stations in the longer term, for the benefit of
all parts of the United Kingdom.
Alison McGovern (Wirral South) (Lab): High Speed 2
is incredibly important for all of Merseyside and our
city region’s development. Further to the answers that
the Secretary of State has given already on connectivity,
will he confirm that the northern hub should not be the
end of better inter-city rail services in the north of
England, but the start and that we need to start planning
for better now?
Mr McLoughlin: Yes. I was in Liverpool and met the
mayor a few weeks ago. It was substantially easier to get
from London to Liverpool than it was to get from
Liverpool back to Derby.
Sir Bob Russell (Colchester) (LD): Taxpayers of Essex,
Suffolk and Norfolk and users of the Greater Anglia
line will contribute to the cost of HS2. We have had
years of neglect by successive Governments of rail
investment in East Anglia. The Secretary of State has
said that he is determined to make sure that the benefits
of HS2 run much wider than the places directly served
by the new line. How will it benefit Colchester?
MrMcLoughlin: Huge investment—£2.2 billion, I think
—is already going into the area that serves the hon.
Gentleman’s constituency. I appreciate that he might
like us to have a high-speed link to his area. We are
being ambitious, but I am afraid that that ambition can
only go so far.
Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central) (Lab): This
morning I received an e-mail from a constituent who
said he found it utterly incredible that the line should go
from Birmingham to Manchester without stopping at
the north Staffordshire conurbation. There is anger in
Stoke-on-Trent that HS2 will just skim the west of the
potteries and not stop there. What benefits can HS2
bring to my constituents? Will the Secretary of State
explain the current thinking for a stop at Crewe, rather
than one along the M6? What assurances can he give
that the existing west coast main line will not be affected?
Mr McLoughlin: The hon. Gentleman needs to look
at the two documents we have published, but I have
made it very clear that today is the start of the process
and I expect him to make representations, as he has just
done. I know Stoke-on-Trent and the surrounding area
incredibly well.We have made improvements to its road
infrastructure, but they have been very controversial
over many years.
PaulMaynard (Blackpool North and Cleveleys) (Con):
I strongly welcome the Secretary of State’s statement,
not least as a demonstration of our party’s commitment
to the north of England. Although Blackpool will not
be getting a high-speed station—I will not stand here
today and demand one—will he none the less explain
when Network Rail will be able to make an assessment
of how much capacity the HS2 project will free up on
the west coast main line?
Mr McLoughlin: My hon. Friend asks a reasonable
question. I think I can best answer it by saying that we
will have a better indication of exactly what capacity
will be freed up once the line is confirmed and Network
Rail is asked to start the work on the consequences of
building the line.
Cathy Jamieson (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) (Lab/Coop):
The Secretary of State made reference not only to
passenger capacity on the west coast main line but
687 High Speed Rail 28 JANUARY 2013 High Speed Rail 688
freight. Given the importance to the Scottish economy
of connectivity between Scotland and the rest of the
UK, will he discuss with the Scottish Government how
freeing up capacity will benefit freight services to and
Mr McLoughlin: Now that the hon. Lady has asked
me to do so, I will.
Mr Philip Hollobone (Kettering) (Con): Whenever
and from wherever construction starts, and whatever
configuration High Speed 2 takes, will the Secretary of
State ensure that this is a British railway, with the trains
built in Britain, the tracks built in Britain, all the
equipment coming fromBritish firms, and Britishworkers
and British firms building the railway?
Mr McLoughlin: I am determined, by the long-term
nature of the notice we are giving, that British companies
will be able to compete and win the business that will be
available, and will go out to tender in the usual way.
From what I have seen of British engineering, I believe
it is well able to compete with anywhere else in the
Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab/
Co-op): The publication today states that theGovernment
have been working productively with the Scottish
Government on this issue for two years, yet after two
years the only firm commitment we have is for a further
study into high-speed rail to Scotland, followed by
identification of a remit for further work. That does not
sound like very high-speed decision making to me.Why
will the Government not commit themselves now to
extending high-speed rail to Scotland, and start preparing
the route now to make sure it actually happens?
Mr McLoughlin: I gently say to the hon. Gentleman,
because he is bringing a chord of disharmony into what
so far has been a fairly harmonious occasion, that we
have made more progress on high-speed rail in two
years than the previous Government did in 13.
Mr Ben Wallace (Wyre and Preston North) (Con): I
warmly welcome the announcement today that my
constituents’ journey time from London to Preston will
be reduced by 30% from 2 hours 8 minutes to 1 hour
24 minutes—a great thing for Preston. However, there is
still some confusion among the public, who believe that
a stop is necessary to benefit from the speed of HS2.
Will the Secretary of State make it absolutely clear to
many of my constituents,who use Lancaster and Preston,
that as soon as phase 1 is started they will benefit from
the reduced journey times, whether or not they have a
Mr McLoughlin: My hon. Friend is right to say that
his constituents will benefit from the opening of the
first part of the line, from London to Birmingham,
because the trains will be able to travel at high speed
between those two cities, saving about 40 minutes on
overall journey times. And that is beforewe have extended
the line further north.
Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)
(Lab): Improvements to rail, road and air transport
infrastructure are vital if regions such as the north-east
are to continue as leading exporters, so will the Secretary
of State outlinewhat discussions he has had with regional
airports, such as Newcastle International airport, about
ensuring that the HS2 plans lead to a properly integrated
MrMcLoughlin: As I said earlier, some of my discussions
with various bodies have been curtailed until the route
is announced, but those conversations should start in
earnest as a result of today’s announcement.
Henry Smith (Crawley) (Con): I commend my right
hon. Friend for his statement. He is right about how
important connectivity with the London hub airport
will be when the issue of the hub is determined. Will
cognisance also be taken, however, of the importance of
linkage with major international gateways to the south
of London, such as Gatwick airport and the Gatwick
Mr McLoughlin: My hon. Friend is right. We cannot
look at these things singly, but must consider how they
impact not only on Heathrow airport but on other
airports and availability to constituents who wish to use
MrFrank Field (Birkenhead) (Lab): I direct the Secretary
of State back to the question about construction beginning
in the north. Given that London is all-powerful and will
see this project completed, if it is in London’s interest,
will he take a new stance on the hybrid Bill? If the
leaders in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds could fit in
with his timetable, might we have a hybrid Bill please?
Mr McLoughlin: Of course I will consider the
representations, but it is not so much a question of
those leaders of cities in the north fitting in with the
timetable, but of the other areas we have to address in
the proposals.We are out to consultation, and the right
hon. Gentleman will have heard that some people are
not too happy with the route proposed and would like
changes and adjustments to be made. That takes time,
and once we have settled on the route—as I said, we are
out to consultation, which means I have not settled on
one—wewill have to carry out environmental assessments
and the like, which I am afraid take considerable time.
I am keen to get on with this as quickly as possible, but
I am constrained by what we need to do.
Michael Ellis (Northampton North) (Con): I commend
my right hon. Friend for what was, in many respects, a
courageous statement and one that has support from all
corners of the House. Will he confirm, however, that
rail fares, which are already high in many areas, will, in
respect of HS2, not be too high and will make HS2
accessible to all?
MrMcLoughlin: The Department is currently conducting
a fares review. Like everybody else, I am keen to see
passengers benefit from cheaper fares, but the truth is
that those able to book trains in advance and outside
rush hour can already get some very cheap fares—cheaper,
in fact, than they have been for many years. However,
we do not mean to build a railway only to see people
unable to take advantage of it. I will want to ensure that
people can take advantage of those services.
689 High Speed Rail 28 JANUARY 2013 High Speed Rail 690
Angela Smith (Penistone and Stocksbridge) (Lab): I
welcome the Secretary of State’s commitment to a
south Yorkshire-based approach to the placement of
the HS2 station in the Sheffield city region. Indeed, the
choice of Meadowhall suggested today seems to offer a
reasonable way forward. Will he consider ensuring,
however, that the enabling aspects of the hybrid Bill
contain at least a commitment to phase 2? Let us
separate the enabling from the quasi-judicial aspects of
Mr McLoughlin: I am grateful to the hon. Lady for
that suggestion and will think on it a little more.
Eric Ollerenshaw (Lancaster and Fleetwood) (Con):
When it comes to the impact of High Speed 2 on
Lancaster and the rest of the north-west beyond—dare
I say—Manchester and Merseyside, if I understood it
correctly the Secretary of Statewas saying that high-speed
trains from London to Manchester would enter the
west coast main line just above Wigan, stopping at
Preston, Lancaster, Carlisle and Glasgow, so that we in
Lancaster will therefore also get shorter journey times.
Mr McLoughlin: The answer—[Interruption]—I am
sorry, I was trying to follow exactly whatmy hon. Friend
was saying and checking the points he was making—is
that shorter journey times to Lancaster will certainly be
a result and a benefit for his constituents.
Mr Russell Brown (Dumfries and Galloway) (Lab):
On the very point that the hon. Member for Lancaster
and Fleetwood (Eric Ollerenshaw) has just made, what
will be important for those travelling beyond theWigan
area is quality connectivity, so that people can continue
and eventually complete their journeys. The Secretary
of State has also mentioned that the Minister of State
has been in contact with the Scottish Government. Is it
best that I meet his right hon. Friend to discuss how
those discussions have gone?
Mr McLoughlin: I am more than happy for the hon.
Gentleman to meet the Minister of State, and I will do
all I can to facilitate such a meeting.
Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore) (Lab): The Secretary
of State will be pleased that I am not asking for a
re-routing via Bridgend or Aberystwyth—yet!—but what
I would ask, echoing the sentiments of my hon. Friend
the Member forHayes and Harlington (John McDonnell),
iswhether he will consider bringing forward the Heathrow
spur, which would bring a direct, long-term economic
advantage to south Wales, Bristol and Avon.
MrMcLoughlin: I think the hon. Gentleman is referring
to the great western spur, which is in the outline of the
planswe have talked about for 2014 to 2019. As somebody
who had a daughter who went to Aberystwyth university,
I think thatwhat he refers towould create some challenges
Tom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South and East
Cleveland) (Lab): Given the dire economic statistics
that we saw on Friday, what will the Secretary of State
be doing to ensure that those in the UK steel industry
are given priority in procurement contracts for long
steel products—I amthinking of sites such as Scunthorpe
and Teesside beam mill—so that regions such as the
north-east can benefit from this project?
MrMcLoughlin: The hon. Gentleman makes a perfectly
reasonable point. I want to see British industry able to
benefit from this. There will need to be competition, but
I am pretty sure that British industry will be able to
compete and provide the services we want and require.
We will also be looking for engineers who can work on
this scheme. Indeed, the construction phase will create
many thousands of jobs, with, I think, the scheme
creating many thousands of jobs for the longer-term
future of the country.
Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South) (Lab): As an
east midlands MP, the Secretary of State will know that
his announcement today has not been universallywelcomed
across Leicestershire. It is certainly true that the city of
Leicester will not see the same advantages that the
wider Nottingham and Derby conurbations will see,
with the proposal to put the station at Toton. One way
he could win over his Leicestershire critics would be to
bring forward—and start sooner—the electrification of
the midland mainline.
MrMcLoughlin: The hon. Gentleman makes a tempting
offer. We are committed to the electrification of the
midland mainline, which will have substantial benefits
for Leicestershire. I would add that East Midlands
airport was built by the three counties—Leicestershire,
Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire—and is situated at
the north of Leicestershire, which the county at that
time felt was beneficial to it. The Toton sidings are
basically not far from the north end of the county, so
I think they will have benefits for Leicestershire as well.
Ian Mearns (Gateshead) (Lab): Twenty years ago, I
could travel from Newcastle to London in 2 hours and
38 minutes. In his announcement today, the Secretary of
State said that in 20 years’ time we will be able to do it in
2 hours and 18 minutes. Does he think that 40 years is
enough for 20minutes, given the importance of connectivity
for the economic regeneration of a place such as the
north-east of England?
Mr McLoughlin: I imagine that I would need to check
out the timetable that the hon. Gentleman has just
alluded to, because it is not unknown for Opposition
Members to look on the past through rose-tinted glasses.
Part of the problem might be that more people are now
using the railways so there are more stops, which means
that his journey is perhaps taking a little longer than it
used to. However, I am very much minded to ensure
that his region, like every other region in the north of
the country, can benefit from the proposals I have
brought forward today.
Mr William Bain (Glasgow North East) (Lab): The
Secretary of State will be aware of the strength of
support in the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and in
Glasgow and Edinburgh city councils for the extension
of high-speed track right up into Scotland’s two major
cities. Would it hasten the evaluation of the economic
case for that if the Minister were to commit to legislating,
in this Parliament, in a single Bill covering the entirety
of the route between London, Manchester and Leeds?
691 High Speed Rail 28 JANUARY 2013 High Speed Rail 692
Mr McLoughlin: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the
reply that I gave some time ago.
JonathanReynolds (Stalybridge andHyde) (Lab/Co-op):
I, too, welcome today’s announcement, and I particularly
welcome the news that there will be two stations in
Manchester. That makes a great deal of sense in relation
to the connectivity that will already exist through the
northern hub investment. May I reiterate to the few
critics of high-speed rail that the case for this project is
based on capacity, not on journey times? If we were to
spend the same amount of money on the west coast
main line, we would get nothing like the amount of
capacity that will be freed up by High Speed 2. That is
why this is the right choice for the northern economy.
Mr McLoughlin: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely
right. This will give faster journey times, and I think
that people willwelcome that, but one of the overwhelming
reasons for High Speed 2 is capacity. It is a fact that no
new railway line has been built north of London for
120 years, and it is high time that that was put right. If
we are to add to the capacity, it is right that we should
take advantage of high-speed trains, which every other
country in Europe and all our major competitors have
Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish) (Lab): This
will be good news for the Greater Manchester economy,
albeit some time in the future. May I press the Secretary
of State on the point made by my hon. Friend the
Member for Ogmore (Huw Irranca-Davies) about
connectivity? If the Greater Manchester economy is to
get maximum benefit from High Speed 2, we will need
proper connectivity with the continent, with London
and with Heathrow airport. We can do better than the
plans set out in these proposals. Will the Secretary of
State commit to providing proper connectivity with
Europe and with Heathrow airport?
Mr McLoughlin: What we have announced today is
exciting for the north and for the future of the rail
industry in this country. The hon. Gentleman talks
about connectivity, but this is a matter of connectivity
not only with the south but with the major cities of the
north. As I said earlier, it can take longer to get from
Manchester to Derby than from Manchester to London.
This is about connectivity between the major city regions
in our country, and we are determined to work towards
that. I thank the hon. Gentleman for his comments, and
I hope that we can satisfy his requests at least in part.
Points of Order
Mr Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con): On a point
of order, Mr Speaker. You will know that the Second
Reading debate on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples)
Bill will take place next Tuesday. It obviously raises
profound moral, emotional and legal issues, but I would
argue that it also raises important constitutional issues
affecting the Church of England and the status of
marriage itself. Have you had any intimation from the
Government that, in order to ensure proper scrutiny of
the Bill, its Committee stage will be taken on the Floor
of the House?
Mr Speaker: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for
his point of order. The short answer to his inquiry is no,
I have received no such intimation. Of course, the Chair
is always in favour of more debate rather than less, and
of debate that is as accessible as possible, but it is only
right to say to him and to the House that the decision
on the type of Committee to which a Bill is committed
is a matter for the House; it is not a matter of order for
the Chair. Needless to say, the Chair will always do as
the House instructs. I hope that that is clear, and I am
grateful to the hon. Gentleman.
Jim McGovern (Dundee West) (Lab): On a point of
order, Mr Speaker. On 4 December, I participated in a
Westminster Hall debate on Remploy, in which I asked
the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions,
the hon. Member forWirralWest (EstherMcVey)whether
she would visit the Remploy factory in Dundee. She
very generously said that she would, and I expect to see
her there nextMonday, 4 February. In the debate, I also
asked her whether she would speak to the Minister for
Defence Procurement, the Under-Secretary of State for
Defence, the hon. Member for Ludlow (Mr Dunne),
about awarding contracts toRemploy for manufacturing
uniforms for the armed forces. I have yet to receive
a response on that. You might be aware, Mr Speaker,
that I tried to intervene in a debate on 15 December, and
that I raised thismatter as a point of order on 16 December.
I have yet to receive a response from the Minister. Will
you advise me how long I should wait for a response
from a Minister?
Mr Speaker: I fear I can offer little assistance to the
hon. Gentleman in this matter. There are two points
to mention. First, he can pursue the route of tabling
questions on the Order Paper to highlight his continuing
concerns and the absence thus far of a response to them.
Secondly, I note in passing that the Deputy Leader of
the House is in his place, and that in my experience the
Leader of the House and the Deputy Leader of the
House are always attentive to parliamentary courtesies.
If the hon. Gentleman has been promised a response or
some other commitment has been made to him, which
has not yet been honoured, I say in all seriousness to
him that that will be a source of some legitimate concern
to the Deputy Leader of the House. Indeed, it is conceivable
that the two of them might wish to have a chat outside
the Chamber. I do not know; we shall see.
If there are no further points of order, we come on to
our main business.
High Speed Rail
The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Patrick
McLoughlin): High Speed 2 is the engine for growth
that Britain needs to compete and succeed in the global
economy. It will generate jobs, rebalance the economy
and secure the country’s future prosperity.
In January 2012, the Government announced the
HS2 route that will link London and Birmingham,
known as phase 1, following a thorough consultation.
Today, I ampublishingmy initial preferred route, station
and depot options for phase 2 linking Birmingham with
Manchester, the East Midlands, Sheffield and Leeds.
There will be a comprehensive programmeof engagement
on all aspects of phase 2 and a public consultation,
planned originally for 2014, has been brought forward
to begin ahead of schedule this year.
A Command Paper published this morning. “High
Speed Rail: investing in Britain’s future phase two—the
route to Leeds, Manchester and beyond”, details the
Government’s preferred route for 211 miles of new
track and stations in the following locations:
Manchester (alongside the existing city centre terminal at
Manchester Airport (linked directly to Manchester Airport’s
Leeds (in the South Bank area of the city centre).
SouthYorkshire (at SheffieldMeadowhall, alongside the M1).
East Midlands (between Nottingham and Derby at Toton,
alongside the M1).
In addition, Crewe will be connected directly with the
high speed line via a dedicated link. HS2 will be integrated
with the existing national railway network allowing
cities and towns in England and Scotland beyond the
Newcastle,York, Preston,Warrington, Lancaster, Carlisle,
Durham and Darlington—to benefit also from new
connections and dramatic time savings thanks to trains
able to use both conventional and high speed railway lines.
HS2means our railway network will have the capacity
to cope with ever increasing numbers of passengers and
free up space on existing rail lines for more commuter,
rural and freight services, meaning fewer cars and lorries
on our roads.
We will deliver a fair deal for people whose homes,
land or businesses will be affected by construction by
continuing to offer a generous compensation package
and investing millions in tunnels and other mitigation
measures. That is why we are also launching today a
public consultation on an exceptional hardship scheme
to assist property owners and compensate people fairly.
This is an interim scheme; longer-term compensation
proposals will be developed in the future as they have
been for phase 1.
Construction on HS2 will begin in four years and
phase 1 will open to passengers in 13 years. Phase 2 will
open six years after that.
A series of supporting documents setting out in
detail the Department for Transport’s phase 2 proposals
are available on: https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/