2. Kris Hopkins (Keighley) (Con):What recent progress
has been made on high speed rail; and if he will make a
The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Patrick
McLoughlin): In January this year, I announced my
initial route and station options for phase two, from
Birmingham to Leeds and Birmingham to Manchester.
I intend to launch the consultation this year, earlier
than previously planned. I have also set outmy intention
to secure the authority for departmental expenditure on
HS2 phase 2 by way of a paving Bill, when parliamentary
time is available.
Kris Hopkins: I am delighted that the Government
have pledged to deliver HS2. Can my right hon. Friend
give a further commitment to ensure that the financial
benefits flowing from the pre-construction phase will be
felt along the length of the line, particularly among
firms in west Yorkshire, which are ready, willing and
very able to assist?
Mr McLoughlin: I am grateful to my hon. Friend.
Last week I made a trip to the north-east talking to a
number of companies. I amaware that many companies
up there and in other places along the route are interested
in, and prepared to be involved, in all phases of HS2. It
is a beneficial project for the whole United Kingdom
453 28 FEBRUARY 2013 454
and I can assure my hon. Friend that we will be looking
at ways to involve British business in all aspects of the
16.  Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central)
(Lab): The updated case for HS2 involves significant
downgrading of provision and a collapse of existing
services to Stoke-on-Trent so that Milton Keynes can
have its high-speed service.How does this help rebalance
the economy and why is my constituency being
disadvantaged by HS2?
Mr McLoughlin: Two weeks ago, I met representatives
fromStoke,Newcastle-under-Lymeand Stafford. Iwelcome
all views, and we will take a final decision on the route
after the full consultation. The hon. Gentleman should
be a bit more enthusiastic about such things.
Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham) (Con):
If HS2 goes ahead, it will do significant damage to our
Buckinghamshire constituencies and the Chilterns
designated area of outstanding natural beauty.We need
the best environmental protection.Will the Secretary of
State undertake to consider carefully this document I
have with me? It is the Buckinghamshire mitigation
plan,which has been painstakingly produced and endorsed
by all our councils in Buckinghamshire, our business
leaders and organisations, and it is intended to form the
basis of a constructive and positive outlook for HS2.
Mr McLoughlin: I had better be careful how I answer
my right hon. Friend. I will study the document she has
given tome and ask for it to be studied by officials inmy
Department.We will do all we can to minimise damage
in her area.
Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood) (Lab): The
Opposition firmly support HS2, but we want it delivered.
It is therefore worrying that the Government’s mid-term
review referred not to enacting, but to “carrying forward
legislation”, even though the Secretary of State’s
departmental plan continues to claim Royal Assent will
be secured by May 2015. Will he confirm that, with all
the dither and delay, botched consultations and judicial
reviews, the hybrid Bill is still on track to secure Royal
Assent in this Parliament?
Mr McLoughlin: This Government will have achieved
far more in five years to build high-speed rail in this
country than the previous Government did in 13. All I
would say is that we are still on target to meet our aims
by the end of this year. As to its progress once it is
before Parliament, I really cannot say any more at this
Maria Eagle: The Secretary of State has introduced
some confusion, because we are meant to have two
Bills. One is paving legislation, which we have not seen
and we do not know what it does, and the second is
the hybrid Bill that he said would be completed in
this Parliament. He should be clear what Bills he will
introduce and when. Which Bill will he introduce: a
measure simply to give the impression of action or the
hybrid Bill that we need if this vital scheme is ever to be
Mr McLoughlin: I ampleased to have the Opposition’s
support in bringing HS2 to fruition. The simple point
is that a paving Bill will deal with certain financial
responsibilities. I amhappy to discuss the details further
with her. The hybrid Bill—the measure that seeks planning
approval—is still on course to be introduced by the end
of the year.
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Mrs Gillan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer
what authority his Department has given to the Department
for Transport for spending related to the High Speed 2
project; if he will publish all correspondence with the
Department of Transport on that matter; and if he will
make a statement. 
Danny Alexander: The Government has allocated
expenditure to HS2 Ltd during the current spending
reviewperiod to design and develop plans for the proposed
high speed route between London and Birmingham in
support of the Hybrid Bill, and then the second phase
to both Manchester and Leeds.
The Department for Transport is responsible for
managing the resources allocated at the spending review
within delegated spending limits.
The spending review document was published in
October 2010 and is available online at:
Government Ministers and officials exchange routine
correspondence as part of the process of policy development
and delivery.Aswas the case with previous Administrations,
it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of
all such exchanges.