Monday 12 May 2014
HS2 Proposals for High Speed Rail
The Petition of residents of the UK,
Declares that the Petitioners believe that the HS2 rail
plan for high-speed rail will bring little benefit to the
UK and will cost upwards of £33 billion to begin with;
further that the Petitioners believe that the plans are
badly thought through and will reap permanent untold
damage, have no environmental benefits, are little use
to this country and are an unaffordable luxury at this
time; and further that the Petitioners believe that there
are many more beneficial, viable, economically and
environmentally sound proposals which should be
prioritised ahead of HS2.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of
Commons reject the High Speed Rail (London – West
AndthePetitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Natascha
Engel, Official Report, 30 April 2014; Vol. 579, c. 962.]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:
HS2 is the most important infrastructure investment
in the UK for a generation. It will provide a network of
newhigh-speed lines across Britain connecting our biggest
cities quickly and reliably. The Government’s decision
to proceed with HS2 will help to promote economic
growth and drive regional regeneration by bringing our
major cities closer together and supporting job creation.
HS2 will also deliver high value for money and will
generate more than £2 for every £1 invested, with a
significant chance that returns could be considerably
higher than this.
It is not possible to construct such a significant piece
of infrastructure without some environmental impacts.
However, HS2 Ltd has worked hard to reduce the local
environmental impacts of the project as far as reasonably
practicable. HS2 Ltd has consulted extensively on the
project and its environmental impacts, which have led
to a number of changes to reduce environmental impacts.
Overall more than half the line of route is in tunnels or
cuttings. In addition, HS2 Ltd has the aim to seek no
net loss in biodiversity as a result of the railway. This
means that, from a biodiversity perspective, it would be
as though 144 miles of railway were not there.
The Department is fully aware of the importance of
protecting the countryside. For instance, we are working
with environmental groups to landscape the line carefully.
We will plant 2 million trees along Phase One and
4 million in total along the whole route. We will build
tunnels, protect footpaths, and limit noise.
None of the proposed alternatives to high-speed rail
provide the long-termincrease in capacity thatwe require.
Even the best alternative proposed would lead to decades
of disruption on the existing rail network, lead to
unreliable and overcrowded services and more freight
on our roads. The alternatives also require tradeoffs
between providing sufficient capacity for commuters
versus long-distance passengers. Increasing capacity for
one can lead to reductions for the other.
HS2 is not diverting a single pound of funding away
from other transport investment. It represents only a
quarter of the Government’s £70 billion commitment to
infrastructure over the next Parliament. It sits hand in
hand with the Department’s £37.5 billion five-year
settlement with Network Rail for continued investment
in rail services, and £24 billion of Highways Agency
funding for major road schemes—a tripling of the
national roads budget.
The Government’s decision to proceed with the first
phase of HS2 has now been approved by the House of
Commons. By voting in favour of the hybrid Bill at its
SecondReading, Parliament has made a clear commitment
to a key part of the Government’s long-term economic
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for
Transport what discussions officials in his Department
have had with High Speed UK about alternatives to
High Speed 2. 
Mr Goodwill: We are not aware of any request from
High Speed UK for a discussion with officials in the
Department engaged on HS2, nor of any such discussions
having taken place. We are, however, aware that High
Speed UK have responded to consultations on issues
related to HS2.
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for
Transportwhat the average speed of travel of a Pendolino
train was on the west coast main line between (a)
Euston and Birmingham, Curzon Street and (b) Euston
and Handsacre in Staffordshire; and what the average
speed of a train on the HS2 line is expected to be on
each route. 
Mr Goodwill: The average journey time of a Pendolino
between Euston and Birmingham city centre (NewStreet)
is 1 hour 21 minutes. As set out in the Strategic Case for
HS2 (October 2013), the average journey time of an
HS2 train between Euston and Birmingham city centre
(Curzon Street) will be 49 minutes–a saving of 32minutes.
The maximum line speed for a Pendolino travelling
on the west coast main line is 125mph. HS2 is designed
for a top speed of 250mph. Plans envisage services
running at up to 225mph,which is becoming the standard
capability for new high speed trains.
There is no station forHandsacre on either the existing
network or the HS2 network. The nearest relevant
station is Crewe, for which comparative journey times
are 1 hour 30 minutes for current services and 55
minutes by HS2 services–a saving of 35 minutes.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of
State for Transport what guidance on the procurement
process is available to companies wishing to bid for
work on the High Speed 2 project; and if he will make
a statement. 
Mr Goodwill: HS2 Ltd is undertaking a national
market engagement exercise to ensure that businesses
can comment on the HS2 Outline Procurement Strategy.
Businesses are encouraged to share their views on HS2’s
approach to procurement via aHS2 Market Engagement
By registering, businesses will automatically receive
relevant updates from HS2 Ltd as they engage with the
market. Already, over 700 businesses have registered, of
which, approximately 50% are indirect (tier 2/tier 3)
The findings from the market engagement exercise
will be shared with the market at the next Supply Chain
conference in the autumn.
In addition, HS2 Ltd is developing the following
Website and Supplier Guide:
HS2 Ltd encourages businesses to regularly visit its
to access further information on the programme and
stay up to date on the latest news and events. HS2 Ltd is
developing the website to help businesses understand
how HS2 will undertake its procurement. The website
will provide information on future contract opportunities,
policies and a ‘Supplier Guide’.
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Business Networking Portal:
HS2 Ltd will promote the use of an online business
networking portal which will signpost businesses to
supply chain opportunities. This will be launched at the
next Supply Chain conference in the autumn.
Meet the Contractor Events:
HS2 Ltd’s direct suppliers will be required to participate
in annual events that promote future supply chain
opportunities to a wide range of businesses including
small and medium-size enterprises.