HS2 FUNDING REFERENDUM BILL
Presentation and FirstReading (Standing Order No. 57)
Mr Christopher Chope, supported by Mrs Cheryl
Gillan, Sir John Randall, Michael Fabricant, Mr James
Gray,Mr Peter Bone and Mr Andrew Turner, presented
a Bill to make provision for a national referendum on
whether the proposed construction of the HS2 railway
should be supported financially by the UK taxpayer.
Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on
Friday 23 January 2015, and to be printed (Bill 48).
High Speed Rail in the North
The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Patrick
McLoughlin): Improvements to transport connectivity
between the northern cities, including through HS2,
through east-west high-speed rail links and road
improvements, would be a key driver in realising the
potential for the cities of the north to become a “Northern
Powerhouse” for the UK’s economy. HS2 is a vital part
of our plans to deliver significant transport infrastructure
that will not only maximise benefits across the UK, in
terms of journey times and connectivity, but will help
balance the UK’s economy, drive regional regeneration,
support job creation and deliver substantial economic
We are firmly and fully committed to our plans for a
high-speed rail network connecting Birmingham,
Manchester and Leeds as part of our plans for HS2
phase 2, on which we consulted earlier this year.
In his report, “HS2 Plus”, Sir David Higgins set out
his recommendations that the Government should
undertake further work on bringing the benefits to the
north sooner, improving city centre to city centre and
east-west connectivity and enhancing integration with
our existing network.
In response to his report five cities—Hull, Leeds,
Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield—are already engaged
in a programme of work looking at northern connectivity.
I am looking forward to seeing the outputs from this
work. I am also very grateful for the responses to the
HS2 phase 2 consultation, which we will report on in
7WS Written Statements 7 JULY 2014 Written Statements 8WS
The Government have now asked Sir David to produce
ambitious proposals for connecting the great northern
cities. This work will look at how to bring the benefits of
high-speed rail to the north more quickly, as well as
initial proposals for faster east-west connections—including
options on route, time scales and cost—by the time of
the autumn statement later this year.
In completing thiswork Sir David will discuss emerging
issues with leaders from the midlands and the north,
and will work with Network Rail to ensure this is part
of a comprehensive plan for the entire railway network
in the north of the country, as well as liaising with the
Highways Agency to ensure it is fully integrated with
the strategic long-term plans for the national road
network, currently being developed. Separately we are
continuing to work on improved rail links to Scotland.
HS2 is a key part of this Government’s growth strategy
and I am keen to maximise its benefits as we look to
deliver economic growth in the north and across the
country more generally.
HS2 is mentioned a few times but not under separate headings – see link below