High Speed 2
Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con): What procedures
are available to communities to seek mitigation of the
effects of the High Speed 2 route with respect to visual,
aural and vibration disturbance.
The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Patrick
McLoughlin): There has already been widespread
consultation on phase 1. In addition, there will be a
consultation on the environmental statement following
the deposit of the hybrid Bill and the opportunity to
petition the Select Committee established as part of the
hybrid Bill process. For phase 2, the route consultation
is currently under way and is due to end in January
Michael Fabricant: A few months ago, I and a group
of people from Lichfield came to see the Secretary of
State to discuss the monstrous 20-metre high viaduct
planned for the HS2 crossing over Lichfield. He will
know that this affects not only Lichfield, but the
constituencies of my hon. Friends the Members for
Tamworth (Christopher Pincher) and for Stafford (Jeremy
Lefroy), because of the height of the line. A plan for
mitigation was developed together with HS2 engineers,
and this has been completely ignored. When can we
have some hope that there will be any mitigation for us
Mr McLoughlin: I am grateful to my hon. Friend. He
rightly says that he never loses an opportunity to make
clear his objection to this viaduct. It was part of a route
realignment which was done initially to help mitigate
some of the effects around Lichfield, but once the Bill is
deposited and following Second Reading there will, of
course, be an opportunity for those directly affected to
petition the Select Committee.
Stephen Timms (East Ham) (Lab): Does the Secretary
of State know of any other countries which, on building
their second high-speed railway line, have chosen to
connect it to the first via a single-track railway line with
a capacity of three trains per hour?
393 7 NOVEMBER 2013 394
Mr McLoughlin: The important thing is that there
will be a connection between HS1 and HS2. That will
allow direct access for trips right through Europe from
places that at present do not have those connections.
That is important. We believe the three trains per hour
that will be able to go directly from Birmingham,
Manchester or Leeds to Paris or Brussels or other
European destinations is a very positive move.
Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford) (Con): As my right hon.
Friend knows, the preferred route for HS2 phase 2 goes
straight through the village of Hopton inmy constituency,
as well as Ingestre, Yarlet and Marston and close by to
Great Harwood.What measures can HS2 take to mitigate
the effects on these communities, either through extra
tunnelling or realignment of the route?
Mr McLoughlin: What I said to my hon. Friend the
Member for Lichfield (Michael Fabricant) inmy original
answer was that the consultation for phase 2 is still
ongoing and it would be wrong of me at this stage to
pre-empt it. I know that my hon. Friend the Member
for Stafford (Jeremy Lefroy) will be making strong
representations through the consultation process, and I
will consider them in due course.
Christopher Pincher (Tamworth) (Con): Pursuant to
the question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for
Lichfield (Michael Fabricant), I know that the Secretary
of State takes these matters very seriously, but does he
agree that where mitigations are small scale, such as
those proposed by my constituents in the Knox Grave
Lane community, HS2 should be able to move ahead
with them quickly and not give conflicting messages to
the community affected? I have written to him on this
matter. Will he give the letter careful consideration?
Mr McLoughlin: Of course I will consider any points
thatmy hon. Friend has written to me about. Consistency
in HS2’s responses on these lines that directly affect
people is very important. I am disturbed to hear that
inconsistent advice has been given by HS2, and I will
want to look into it.
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for
Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of
proposed High Speed 2 route on (a) waterways and
(b) waterways managed by the Canal and River Trust.
Mr Goodwill: An environmental statement will be
published alongside the hybrid Bill later this year. That
document will set out likely significant impacts of the
scheme, along with potential mitigation measures, including
in relation to any waterways. The Minister of State for
Transport, the noble Lady Baroness Kramer, will meet
with the Canal and River Trust shortly.