HS2 in Hansard 14/01/2014

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he has taken to ensure the design of the proposed HS2 route within the designated landscape of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty meets all requirements under section 85 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000; and if he will make a statement. [182066]

Mr Goodwill: As set out in the response to the 2011 consultation, ‘High Speed Rail: Investing in Britain’s Future—Decisions and Next Steps’ the Government considers that HS2 is consistent with section 85 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of the Christmas period on the ability of those affected to respond to the High Speed 2 Environmental Statement Consultation. [182617]

Mr Goodwill: The three days of public holiday over the Christmas and new year period are not considered to adversely affect the ability of people to respond to the ES consultation. In total there are 60 days in which to respond to the consultation. The ES is designed to be easily accessible which is why it includes a non-technical summary and the area reports and map books in volume 2 are split up into 26 Community Forum Areas (CFAs) so people can easily find the information relevant to their local area. There is no need to read the whole ES in order to make a considered response. The vast majority of individuals responding to the consultation will be interested in the effects on their local area. The relevant CFA and maps, some 300 pages, would provide this information. In addition,much of the information is already familiar to people having been contained in the draft ES, which was the subject of an eight week consultation in 2013 to which 20,000 people responded. Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what method those wishing to petition the High Speed 2 Hybrid Bill must raise points in response to the environmental statement consultation. [182618]

Mr Goodwill: Responding to the consultation on the environmental statement and petitioning the hybrid Bill are distinct and unconnected. There is no requirement for those wishing to petition the hybrid Bill to respond to the environmental statement consultation. Those wishing to raise points in response to the consultation can do so by filling in the response form available on the following website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hs2-phase-one-environmental-statement

and e-mailing it to:

HS2PhaseOneBillES@dialoguebydesign.com

or writing to:

FREEPOST RTEC-AJUT-GGHH

HS2 Phase One Bill Environmental Statement
PO Box 70178
London
WC1A 9HS

The rules and format for petitioning the hybrid Bill are set by Parliament. Petitions will not be accepted until the Bill has passed Second Reading, at which time a petitioning period will be set. Guidance on how to petition the Bill is available from Parliament’s website at:

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/Commons-hybrid-Bill-Petitioning-Kit-2013-14.doc

and a leaflet produced by Parliament has been distributed by HS2 Ltd to landowners along the proposed route of phase 1.

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure that those affected by High Speed 2 have enough information to respond to the environmental statement consultation. [182619]

Mr Goodwill: Every effort has been made to ensure that the environmental statement (ES) is accessible to interested parties. That is why the ES includes a nontechnical summary and the area reports and map books in volume 2 are split up into 26 community forum areas (CFAs) so people can easily find the information relevant to their local area. The document is also fully searchable. A guide outlining the structure of the environmental statement is available which should help people identify which sections of the ES to read. It can be found on the HS2 Ltd and gov.uk website at the following link:

http://assets.hs2.org.uk/sites/default/files/Understanding%20the%20Environmental%20Statement%20web.pdf

In addition to ensuring that the documents are appropriately structured for easy navigation, every effort has also been made to ensure that the ES is available to interested parties. That is why, as well as being available online, the ES documents are also publically accessible at 31 local authority locations, 80 parish councils and 56 public libraries across the line of route for phase 1. Information about these locations is available on the HS2 Ltd website at the following link:

http://www.hs2.org.uk/hs2-phase-one-hybrid-bill/hybrid-bill

Members of the public are also entitled to one free hard copy of both the non-technical summary and volume 1 of the ES as well as a copy of one CFA report and map book. Those who wish to receive hard copies of any of the other documents that comprise the ES can order them from the HS2 Ltd website for a small fee. If any further questions on the ES arise, individuals can contact the HS2 Ltd public inquiries line on:

HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk

020 7944 4908

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the information contained in the High Speed 2 Environmental Statement; and what assessment he has made of the effects of the amount of information within the Environmental Statement Consultation on those wishing to respond. [182620]

459W Written Answers 14 JANUARY 2014 Written Answers 460W

Mr Goodwill: HS2 Ltd compiled the Environmental Statement (ES) for 18 months since the announcement of the route was made in February 2012. During this time, the information contained within it was peer reviewed by experts in their field to ensure it is of the highest quality.Whilst the ES containsmuch information, the amount of consultation that has taken place on the scheme has been extensive, as such those affected are in an informed position already. Furthermore, the ES is broken down into community forum areas to ensure that it is more readily accessible to people with an interest.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/chan103.pdf

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