Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport
when his Department intends to publish and introduce
the High Speed 2 Preparation Bill as announced in the
Queen’s Speech of 8 May 2013
Mr Simon Burns: The High Speed Rail (Preparation)
Bill was introduced into the House of Commons and
published on Monday 13 May.
Mr Simon Burns: The Secretary of State has the
responsibility under the Railways Act 1993 as amended,
to maintain the continuity of passenger rail services.
Under Section 30 of the Act the Secretary of State has
the power to transfer the operation of services to an
″operator of last resort.″ Directly Operated Railways
fulfil the function of that ″operator of last resort.″ In
the event that the Department is unable to successfully
conclude negotiations for a Direct Award with the
incumbent train operating company, we do not foresee
any problem with Directly OperatedRailways continuing
to fulfil the Secretary of State’s duty under the Act.