HS2 in Hansard 12/09/2013

The Secretary of State was asked—

High Speed 2

1. Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South) (Lab): What the

current budget is for High Speed 2. [900267]

5. Mrs Siân C. James (Swansea East) (Lab):What the

current budget is for High Speed 2. [900272]

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Patrick

McLoughlin): The spending round of 2013 set a long-term

budget for the delivery of HS2 of £42.6 billion. That is

made up of £21.4 billion for phase 1 and £21.2 billion

for phase 2. The budget includes significant contingency

provision of £14.4 billion. That budget is being tightly

monitored by the Government and we are confident

that the railway will be delivered for less than that

figure. I have set HS2 Ltd a “target price” for phase 1 of

£17.1 billion.

Susan Elan Jones: France, Germany, Japan and many

other countries have benefited hugely fromtheir high-speed

rail links, and many of us are fed up with a largely

London-based commentariat that is seeking to stop a

north-south high-speed rail link for this country, but

does the Secretary of State agree that, if we are to build

a better consensus, it is extremely important that the

budget figures he referred to will be both monitored

and met?

Mr McLoughlin: I completely agree with the hon.

Lady. We have a good record of delivering big projects

on time. The Crossrail scheme, which is being built at

the moment, involves more than £14 billion and is the

largest construction project in Europe. It will greatly

enhance transport in London; it is essential, but HS2 is

essential for the rest of the country.

Mrs SiânC. James: The Secretary of State has outlined

the significant budget of the HS2 project, but what

assurances can the Government give me and the people

of Swansea East that they will give full consideration to

the proposals of the Howard Davies commission and

the benefits of a future high-speed rail link between

Cardiff and Heathrow airport?

MrMcLoughlin: I do notwant to anticipate or prejudge

what theDavies commission report will say. The commission

is very important and its interim report is due by the

end of the year. The hon. Lady makes a point about

infrastructure and the rest of the railway network. It is

essential that we carry on investing in rail services in

other parts of the country and, over the next spending

review, Network Rail plans to spend some £37.5 billion

on the current railway network.

Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham) (Con):

The Secretary of State was forced this week to launch a

so-called fightback with a piece of expensive and selfjustifying

research from KPMG on HS2, because he

has lost control of the budget and of the arguments,

including the need to travel at speeds in excess of

250 mph. It is about time that we replaced HS2 with a

thoroughly researched and prepared integrated transport

strategy for all regions, including Wales, and covering

air, road, rail and communications links. When will he

cancel that project and produce a decent overall strategy?

Mr McLoughlin: I am not sure I was forced to do

anything, but I was asked by the Public Accounts

Committee to do proper research and to back up the

case for HS2. I dare say that if yesterday’s report had

come out negative, all those people who are against HS2

would have been shouting it from the rooftops. Because

it came out positive, they are opposed to it.

Mr Alan Reid (Argyll and Bute) (LD): The KPMG

report showed that every region of Britain will benefit

from plans for HS2 to go as far as Leeds and Manchester,

but Scotland and the north of England would benefit

even more if the lines extended to Glasgow, Edinburgh

andNewcastle.Howare the Secretary of State’s discussions

with the Scottish Government progressing in that regard?

Mr McLoughlin: I am prepared to have the meetings

with the Scottish Government. I announced last October

that we would be looking to take the line to Scotland.

That work is ongoing.

Mrs Louise Ellman (Liverpool, Riverside) (Lab/Co-op):

The Secretary of State referred to funds to be invested

by Network Rail in the classic lines. Will he give an

assurance that, in addition, there will be sufficient funds

to invest in new passenger and freight services on lines

freed by the development of HS2?

Mr McLoughlin: Indeed. The hon. Lady who chairs

the Transport Committee embarks on an important

point. One key problem that any future Government

will face is that of capacity on the network, as well as

speed, and this line is also very much about capacity. If

we made the improvement that some people suggest on

the present line, it would lead to capacity increases of

about 53% between London and Birmingham. HS2 will

lead to a capacity increase of 143%. That is why it is so

important to meet the objectives that we both have.

Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford) (Con): My right hon. Friend

says that HS2 is about capacity rather than just speed,

so will he instruct HS2 to cut the speed so that the route

can be more flexible and do less damage to dozens of

communities along the route, including five in my

constituency?

Mr McLoughlin: I have tried to say that the case for

HS2 is not just about speed and that capacity is one of

the main reasons for it. Although the reduction in

1137 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 1138

journey time between London and Birmingham is not

huge—it will be in the region of 30 minutes—for great

cities in the north such as Manchester and Leeds the

reduction will be very beneficial. There is not just one

reason; there are many reasons for doing this project.

Even if we took the line down to a lower speed limit, it

would not reduce the cost by much—we would be

talking about 90% of the present cost, rather than

100%.

14. [900283] Mr Jim Cunningham (Coventry South)

(Lab): I agree with the right hon. Member for Chesham

and Amersham (Mrs Gillan). Has the Secretary of

State looked at an alternative integrated rail system, as

opposed to high-speed rail? Is there a Treasury limit on

spending for that project?

Mr McLoughlin: I have set out carefully the spending

limit, andwe have a put in place a reasonable contingency,

based on internationally recognised figures. It is a big

contingency and I hope, as the chief executive of Network

Rail said a few weeks ago, that the project could come

in under the budget that the Government have allowed.

Stephen Mosley (City of Chester) (Con): The KPMG

report this week revealed £15 billion of economic growth,

mainly in the main conurbations of the north. Will my

right hon. Friend confirm that not just those main

conurbations but smaller towns and cities such as Chester

will benefit from new and increased services because of

increased capacity on the west coast main line?

Mr McLoughlin: My hon. Friend is absolutely right:

this does add to the capacity and more services. Since I

have been Secretary of State for Transport, I have

noticed that my colleagues on both the Opposition and

Government Benches always press for more and better

services. If we are to adapt that and celebrate the

success of railway travel, which in this country has gone

from 750 million passenger journeys a year to 1.5 billion,

with an increase doubling on inter-city lines, we must

find that extra capacity.

Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) (Lab): There

is strong, cross-party agreement that a new north-south

line is vital to tackle the serious and growing capacity

constraints on our existing rail network.Will the Secretary

of State confirm that this investment will not draw

funding away from essential upgrades to the existing

rail network such as the northern hub, electrification,

and new inter-city trains? Does he agree it is imperative

that the new north-south line remains on budget and on

track?

Mr McLoughlin: I entirely agree with the hon. Lady,

and she has pointed out three important projects that

will take place between 2014 and 2019: 880 miles of

electrification; the new purchase of intercity express

programme trains for the east coast and great western

lines; and the northern hub. Those important projects

are planned for between 2014 and 2019, and refer to the

£37 billion that I mentioned Network Rail is going to

invest in the current railway system.

 

 

Topical Questions

T1. [900287] Ian Lucas (Wrexham) (Lab): If he will

make a statement on his departmental responsibilities.

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Patrick

McLoughlin): Since I was last at the Dispatch Box, my

Department has announced £94 million in funding to

boost cycling in eight cities and four national parks.My

right hon.Friend the Minister of State has today published

a consultation on the long-term property compensation

measures for phase 1 of HS2. The Government have

always been clear that they intend to go further than the

existing discretionary scheme in order to assist affected

property owners. The consultation proposals that we

are setting out today are designed to do just that.

I am also announcing today important changes to

the discount scheme, which will help local people who

use the Dartford-Thurrock crossing, following a persuasive

campaign bymy hon. Friends the Members for Dartford

(Gareth Johnson) and for Thurrock (Jackie Doyle-Price).

From March 2014, those registered on the schemes will

be able to make unlimited trips over the crossing for just

£20 a year. For the first time, we will include privately

registered vans, offering awelcome boost to small businesses.

Ian Lucas: The Wrexham-Bidston line, in one of the

most successful industrial regions in the UK, north-east

Wales and west Cheshire, is crucial to the development

of the region’s economy.What comfort can the Secretary

of State give to local businesses who have expressed the

concern to me that HS2 will divert investment in any

proposals in that region?

Mr McLoughlin: As we pointed out earlier in Question

Time, we are making significant investment in the whole

railway system. That will come sooner than HS2. We

are spending £37.5 billion between 2014 and 2019. My

right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales has

also talked to me about the line my hon. Friend has just

referred to, and I will be looking at how improvements

can be made to that line as well.

T2. [900288] James Wharton (Stockton South) (Con):

Pinch-point funding for our road network is very

important. Ingleby Barwick in my constituency has

significant traffic issues, especially where the A174

meets Thornaby road. Will the Secretary of State work

with me to find a solution to make life a bit better for

my constituents?

Mr McLoughlin: I certainly will work with my hon.

Friend and meet to discuss this scheme with him. It was

part of the applications made originally for the local

pinch-point fund, but it did not fall in the first round of

that. The schemewas very successful and over-subscribed,

but I assure my hon. Friend that we are looking hard at

ways in which we might go further, and I will be happy

to talk to him about his particular scheme.

T6. [900293] Toby Perkins (Chesterfield) (Lab):

Returning to the subject of HS2, will the Secretary of

State confirm—we have been talking about the

importance of integrating the line—that residents in

Chesterfield who want to take advantage of the

benefits of HS2 will not have to drive down to Toton to

do so, but will have a link from Chesterfield railway

station?

Mr McLoughlin: Although the hon. Member for

Bolsover (Mr Skinner) rightly pointed out that Toton is

in Nottinghamshire, probably even he could throw a

brick from Derbyshire into Toton.

Mr Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) (Lab): Further than

you.

Mr McLoughlin: Possibly even further than me. As

the hon. Member for Chesterfield knows, the line from

Chesterfield goes through the Toton works, so one

would imagine that there will be a good connection

from Chesterfield and other stations to the new station

we are planning at Toton.

T3. [900289] Amber Rudd (Hastings and Rye) (Con): I

wonder whether the Secretary of State is aware that the

Hastings to Ashford rail line is the only unelectrified

line on the south coast line. Will he join me in

calling for the electrification of this line so that my

constituents can look forward to more reliable and

better link times to London?

1147 Oral Answers 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 Oral Answers 1148

The Minister of State, Department for Transport

(Mr Simon Burns): Asmy hon. Friend is aware, Network

Rail is currently undertaking an electrification study,

looking at all routes, including Hastings to Ashford, to

identify potential candidates for electrification, which

could be carried out in the next rail control period from

2019 to 2024. Any scheme would have to demonstrate a

business case before being considered, but would then

be given full consideration.

Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield) (Lab): Three years on

from the axing of Cycling England and its £60 million

annual budget, this Tory-led Government promised

£148 million for cycling. That has turned out to be an

average of £38 million per year until 2016, with local

authorities expected to find the rest. In comparison, £28

billion is planned to be spent on roads. Does the Minister

really believe that this is the right proportion and that

this Government really are the most pro-cycling ever?

TheParliamentary Under-Secretary of State forTransport

(Norman Baker):We are the most pro-cyclingGovernment

ever. If the hon. Lady does not believe that, she should

look at some of the comments from the cycling groups,

who have warmly welcomed the huge investment—the

record investment—that has taken place under this

Government. That is a real step change in cycling, and I

would have thought that she welcomed it rather than

criticise it.

T4. [900290] Eric Ollerenshaw (Lancaster and Fleetwood)

(Con): Will the Minister confirm that northern

commuters on the trans-Pennine routes are still in line

to benefit from the promised 40 extra carriages, and

will he continue to look into increasing capacity on

those northern commuter routes?

Mr Burns: I am delighted to confirm that commuters

on the trans-Pennine express are in line to benefit from

increased capacity provided by the extra 40 carriages to

be introduced on the Manchester to Scotland route and

the reallocation of diesel trains. The new electric trains

are scheduled to enter passenger service between December

2013 and May 2014. I have no doubt that this will bring

benefit to my hon. Friend’s constituents and others

along the line of route.

T7. [900294] Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) (Lab):

Will the rail Minister look seriously and urgently at the

situation at Finsbury Park station, which is jointly run

by Transport for London, London Underground and

Network Rail? There are welcome new platforms for

the overground but there is no step-free access for the

underground. The station is the busiest outside central

London and it is dangerously overcrowded at many

times. The Mayor is proposing changes from 2017.

That is too late; we need them now.

Mr Burns: I will certainly look carefully at what the

hon. Gentleman has said. I will consult the Under-Secretary,

my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Stephen

Hammond), and Transport for London. I hope that we

can deal with this as successfully as we did when the

hon. Gentleman and I last had a meeting in the Department

for Transport, when we resolved another issue extremely

satisfactorily.

T5. [900292] DanielKawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham)

(Con): The £100 billion the Government have set aside

for infrastructure projects is warmly to be welcomed.

May I reiterate to my right hon. Friend the importance

of the north-west relief road around Shrewsbury and

the importance that we attach to this vital project for

the town, which is bringing great economic benefits to

the whole of Shropshire and mid-Wales?

MrMcLoughlin: Oncemy hon.Friend starts a campaign

he never loses an opportunity to mention it. He raised

this point with the Prime Minister and he has a meeting

planned with me. We are spending £9 million on pinch

points to tackle existing congestion around the road. I

look forward to my meeting with him, where I am sure

he will make his case persuasively.

Chris Evans (Islwyn) (Lab/Co-op): One in three blind

or partially sighted people are spending about £30 a

month on taxis because buses cannot accommodate

them through audiovisual equipment. What are the

Government doing to change that?

Norman Baker: We give strong support to the bus

industry through financial support directly to the operators,

through the bus service operators grant, and through

local authorities.Our reforms to the bus system through,

for example, the BSOG reforms and the extra money

provided for green buses are giving a welcome boost to

the bus industry. That means that passenger numbers

are roughly where they were at the end of the previous

Government’s time in office.

T9. [900296] Alok Sharma (Reading West) (Con): I

recently met my constituent John Letch, owner of Car

Contacts Ltd, which sells second-hand cars, many of

which it imports from Northern Ireland. Mr Letch tells

me that in recent months the company has experienced

severe delays in the re-registering of cars by the Driver

and Vehicle Licensing Agency, delaying their onward

sale and putting the company under financial strain.

Will the Minister meet me and Mr Letch, and other

traders, to discuss this matter urgently?

TheParliamentary Under-Secretary of State forTransport

(Stephen Hammond):Myhon.Friend refers to applications

that were centralised at the DVLA in Swansea in July.

There were initially some delays, but on 9 August a

special team was created to deal with the more complex

applications, and I think that that is now beginning to

resolve the situation. However, I would of course be

happy to meet him and his constituents.

Ian Paisley (North Antrim) (DUP): The consultation

on the potential closure of the Driver and Vehicle

Agency office in Coleraine and the moving of 300 jobs

to Swansea closed this morning. Although I do not

expect the Minister to have the answers to the consultation

yet, will he agree to meet me, my hon. Friend the

Member for East Londonderry (Mr Campbell) and a

small delegation of workers who would be affected by

the closure?More importantly, will he take this opportunity

to remove the smear levelled at workers that there were

sectarian issues that would lead to the closure of the

office when none has ever been reported?

Stephen Hammond: The hon. Gentleman is, of course,

right that I will not comment on the result of the

consultation.He is referring to the package of documents

1149 Oral Answers 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 Oral Answers 1150

that were published as part of the consultation, including

an equality assessment. I apologise for any offence that

was inadvertently caused and accept that the wording

could have been clearer. I must stress that there was no

intention to imply that any of the staff at the DVA

might be biased in anyway. Indeed, the equality assessment

concludes that there is nothing in the proposal on the

centralisation plans that would give rise to any bias or

any perception of bias. Finally, I would, of course, be

delighted to meet him, the hon. Member for East

Londonderry (Mr Campbell) and a group of their

constituents.

Duncan Hames (Chippenham) (LD): My constituents

look forward to the electrification of the GreatWestern

main line. When does the Secretary of State expect to

begin a consultation on any reconfiguration of services,

especially in the Bristol travel-to-work area, that will be

made possible by electrification and the new trains that

come with it?

Mr McLoughlin: I am grateful for my hon. Friend’s

welcome for our planned investment. I will write to him

about the more detailed question of the timetable so

that he will be well aware of it.

Sheila Gilmore (Edinburgh East) (Lab): I want to

take the railways Minister back to his earlier statement

about the east coast franchise. Could he be precise

about the innovations that I and my fellow travellers

will see if the process goes ahead?

Mr McLoughlin: We will see, when we make the

invitations to tender, exactly what proposals come back

from rail companies, but the simple fact is that this

Government—and the previous Government, for that

matter—have seen huge growth in our railways as a

result of the innovation of the train operating companies.

This is not new; it was well established under the

previous Government and continues to be under this

one.

Several hon. Members rose—

Mr Speaker: Order. Transport questions always tend

to bust the box office, I am afraid: demand exceeds

supply. The last ticket goes to Jake Berry.

Jake Berry (Rossendale and Darwen) (Con): Thank

you, Mr Speaker. Following on from the question asked

by my hon. Friend the Member for Bury North

(Mr Nuttall), will the Secretary of State confirm that he

will continue to work with me and my hon. Friend for

improvements on the M66, which is a key commuter

route into Manchester for east Lancashire and Bury

North, both of which have played their part, with their

manufacturing-based economy, in reducing unemployment

in our area?

Mr McLoughlin: I was very pleased to join my hon.

Friend in his constituency a few months ago, where he

explained to me some of the great difficulties he has

with regard to communications and the transport links

for his constituency. It is incumbent on us all to look at

how we can address those particular problems, improve

the transport links and, where we can, improve the road

network as well as, if possible, the rail network. I

understand that my hon. Friend has been fighting a

valiant campaign, but that it has drawn a blank from

the county council.

 

 

TRANSPORT

HS2

The Minister of State, Department for Transport

(Mr Simon Burns): The Department for Transport is

today beginning a period of public consultation on

long-term property compensation measures for phase 1

of HS2.

HS2 is set to become a vital part of Britain’s

infrastructure. This new high-speed line will open up

opportunities for the UK that we have not seen in

generations. Its scope to transformthis country is enormous,

bringing our cities closer together and re-shaping the

economic geography of this country.

Although HS2 will benefit the whole country, the

Government understand the impact that these proposals

have on property owners affected by the route. We have

had a discretionary scheme in place for phase 1 since

2010 to allowus to buy properties frompeople experiencing

exceptional hardship and unable to sell because of our

proposals; however, the Government have always been

clear that they intend to go further than this in order to

assist affected property owners. The proposals laid out

today are designed to do just that.

We have consulted before on long-term property

compensation for phase 1.However, some of the decisionmaking

about the Government’s preferred schemes was

challenged in a judicial review and in the light of the

High Court’s judgment in March 2013, the Government

immediately undertook to re-consult.

Today we have launched the new consultation, seeking

the public’s views on a package of measures designed to

assist individuals in a range of circumstances, whether

their property is directly on the line of route or further

away. Though similar to the package consulted on

previously, we have taken a fresh look at the options

available and introduced a number of new ideas.

Within the safeguarded area, we have proposed a

streamlined system of purchasing owner-occupied

properties to give greater certainty to the owner-occupiers

closest to the line that we will buy their homes.

The proposals also include a long-term hardship

scheme for owner-occupiers who have strong personal

reasons to move but cannot do so, other than at a

significant loss, because of HS2. This scheme would

have no defined geographical boundary.

In rural areas, we have outlined two potential options

which would provide further assistance. One option is

for theGovernment to issue property bonds, a transferable

guarantee that the Government would act as the buyer

of last resort for those living close to the phase 1 route.

We are also seeking the public’s views on a voluntary

purchase scheme for owner-occupied properties within

120 metres of the phase 1 route.

We are committed to fairly compensating those who

are affected and we want to hear people’s views on the

generous and comprehensive measures we have set out.

By supplementing the measures that are already available

through the compensation code, these proposals go

significantly above and beyond what is required under

statute. Owner-occupiers within the safeguarded areas

who sell their homes to the Government would receive

the payments laid down in the compensation code.

Those further awaywould receive 100% of the un-blighted

value of their properties—that is, its value if there were

no proposals for HS2.

Also subject to consultation are two approaches to

renting property back to its previous owner after purchase

by the Government as a result of HS2.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks, closing

on 4 December 2013. Following a period of careful

consideration, the final schemes should come into operation

by summer 2014.

I can also announce today that the Government will

not consult further on proposals pertaining to properties

above tunnels or the replacement of lost social housing

relative to phase 1. In the coming weeks, we will publish

details of the Government’s approach to these issues.

Whatever the outcome of the consultation, the

Government are determined to build a fair and effective

package of support for property owners.

Copies of the consultation document, “Property

Compensation Consultation 2013”and other supporting

documents will be placed in the Libraries of both

Houses.

 

 

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the

Exchequer (1) pursuant to the oral evidence of the

Permanent Secretary of his Department to the Treasury

Sub-Committee, 3 September 2013, uncorrected transcript,

Q63, stating that his Department had not signed a

blank cheque for High Speed 2, what upper limit his

Department has set for spending on that project;

[168375]

(2) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of

State forTransport regarding the upper limitHMTreasury

has set for spending on High Speed 2; [168376]

(3) whether the current budget for High Speed 2

includes the budget for the compensation package that

is currently being reconsulted on; and whether provision

has been made for the costs of a potential increase in

that compensation package. [168377]

Danny Alexander [holding answer 11 September 2013]:

The 2013 spending round set a funding envelope for

High Speed 2 of £42.6 billion for construction costs

(£21.4 billion for Phase 1 and £21.2 billion for Phase 2)

and £7.5 billion for rolling stock, including £16.1 billion

of contingency, in 2011 prices. This envelope also makes

provision for a property consultation package which

goes beyond statutory requirements.

The Government expects the railway to be delivered

for less than this long-term envelope, and the Secretary

of State for Transport has set HS2 Ltd a lower ‘target

price’ of £17.16 billion to deliver Phase 1. More detail

on the Government’s long-term capital spending plans

is available in “Investing in Britain’s Future”:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/

attachment_data/file/209279/

PU1524_IUK_new_template.pdf

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer

(1) what estimate has been made of the Barnett

consequential for Northern Ireland for the money that

(a) has already been spent, (b) is contracted to be

spent and (c) will be spent in England on High Speed 2;

[168488]

(2) what estimate has been made of the Barnett

consequential for Wales from expenditure (a) already

spent, (b) currently contracted to be spent and (c)

projected to be spent in England on High Speed 2.

[168489]

821W Written Answers 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 Written Answers 822W

Danny Alexander: Allocations to the devolved

Administrations at spending reviews are made in the

form of block grants. It is not possible to identify

consequentials for individual spending items within the

total grant. Barnett consequentials for HS2 will be

determined in line with the Statement of Funding Policy

in the normal way.

 

 

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for

Transportwhen he plans to launch the re-run consultation

on compensation for those affected by the High Speed 2

scheme; and when he expects a new discretionary scheme

to be in place. [168470]

Mr Simon Burns: The consultation on long-term

property compensation for Phase One of HS2 has been

launched today. The consultation will run until 4 December

2013 and, following a period of analysis and consideration,

the Government expects to put in place any resulting

discretionary schemes by summer 2014.

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for

Transport how many responses were received to (a) the

draft Environmental Statement and (b) the Design

Refinement Consultation for phase one of the High

Speed 2 scheme. [168471]

Mr Simon Burns: The draft Environmental Statement

consultation received 20,944 valid responses and the

Design Refinement consultation received 869. Summary

reports outlining the range of issues raised in responses

to both consultations will follow in due course.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport

when the consultation on compensation for Phase 1 of

High Speed 2 will be issued by his Department. [168565]

Mr Simon Burns: The consultation on long-term

compensation measures for Phase One of HS2 has been

launched today. The consultation will run until 4 December

2013.

857W Written Answers 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 Written Answers 858W

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for

Transport what assessment he has made of the (a)

economic and (b) transport benefits to the West and

South West of High Speed 2. [168575]

Mr Simon Burns: No specific assessment has been

made of the direct benefits to the West and South West

of High Speed 2. Nevertheless, High Speed 2 will provide

enhanced connectivity to this region in Phase 1 through

the link to theWest Coast Mainline and hub at Old Oak

Common. Phase 2 will provide further connectivity

enhancements, particularly to passengers from the south

and south west of the country wishing to travel north.

There is also, potential for more commuter, freight and

local services to this area from capacity released on the

existing network.

HS2 Ltd recently published a report they had

commissioned from KPMG evaluating the potential

impact of HS2 on productivity and business location.

The report estimates that in areas of the country not in

the immediate vicinity of the HS2 route (which includes

the areas south and south west of HS2 as well as the

areas north of Leeds and Manchester), HS2 could

generate productivity benefits of between £5.0 billion

and £7.0 billion per annum.

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