HS2 in Hansard 05/09/2013

High Speed 2 Railway Line
Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport
what estimate he has made of the energy capacity
required to power (a) Phase 1 and (b) Phase 2 of High
Speed 2 when it operates at full capacity. [167787]
Mr Simon Burns: Peak power demand for the Phase
One network at the maximum planned capacity (18
trains per hour per direction) is in the order of 350MW.
HS2 Ltd is currently working on estimates of peak
power demand for the Phase Two network and these
will be available once the route of Phase Two has been
developed further.
Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport
what estimate he has made of the carbon footprint of
High Speed 2 (a) during the building phase and (b)
when fully operational; and if he will place a copy of
such estimates in the Library. [167788]
Mr Simon Burns: HS2 Ltd is currently preparing
information on the carbon footprint of HS2 Phase One
during its construction and operation phases. This will
be published in the Environmental Statement which will
be deposited in Parliament alongside the hybrid Bill
later this year.
High Speed Trains: Noise
Mr Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport
what assessment he has made of the peak decibel level
of noise generated by a high speed train travelling over
a 30 feet high viaduct in open countryside at a distance
of (a) half a mile, (b) one mile and (c) 1.5 miles.
Mr Simon Burns: A full and detailed assessment of
the impacts and likely significant noise effects due to
the operation of HS2 Phase One, including all viaducts,
is being completed and will be reported in the
Environmental Statement that will accompany the Bill
when it is deposited with Parliament towards the end of
this year.As a minimum all viaducts will include barriers
installed close to the track with a height of 1.4m above
Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op): I
remind the Leader of the House that since the last time
we met here for business questions a report from the
Institute of Economic Affairs has estimated the cost of
High Speed 2—a cost that started at £10 billion, went
up to £32 billion, then £42 billion, and then £50 billion—at
£80 billion. It also reflects on the fact that this could be
very damaging to all the regional cities of our country.
May we have an early debate on this?
Mr Lansley: Let me remind the hon. Gentleman that
the House is considering the High SpeedRail (Preparation)
Bill, which affords further opportunities to consider
this. Having looked at what the Institute of Economic
Affairs said, it seemed to be one of those reports where
if one makes a series of assumptions one can arrive at
any conclusion one likes. My right hon. Friend the
Transport Secretary has put some very substantial
contingencies into the programme to make sure that we
can deliver it within budget.
Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con):
When questioned about High Speed 2 on Tuesday, the
permanent secretary to theTreasury, Sir Nick Macpherson,
told the Treasury Committee that:
“There will be opportunities to reassess it”
and that the Government
“have not signed a blank cheque”.
Will the Leader of the House confirm that that is the
Government’s view?
Mr Lansley: My hon. Friend will be aware that the
Secretary of State for Transport will be at the Dispatch
Box next Thursday to answer questions. Nobody is
writing a blank cheque—that is the whole point. That is
why, in the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill, we have
clearly set out a budget with contingencies, as people
would expect. They expect us to plan, as we did for the
Olympics—a good example—to have a clear budget
rather than one that keeps moving, and a budget that
has sufficient contingency so that the project is entirely
deliverable within it.