HS2 in Hansard 07/11/2013

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

in Staffordshire?


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?

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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.