HS2 in Hansard 30-11-15

HS2 and the Northern Powerhouse
The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Patrick
McLoughlin):The statement is as follows.
HS2 and the northern powerhouse
Good strategic transport links are central to the
success of our country. This Government, more than
any before, committed to making sure we have the
infrastructure we need to deliver economic growth and
rebalance the country’s economy, not just in the immediate
future, but for the long term.
I am therefore making announcements today on how
transport is continuing to deliver the northern powerhouse
through HS2 and the northern transport strategy.
HS2 is a key part of the future of our country’s
railways. Last week’s spending review announcement
confirmed the Government’s commitment to the scheme.
This is a big step forward for HS2 and the creation of a
northern powerhouse. This gives funding certainty to
HS2. It also gives more certainty to the towns and cities
that would be served by HS2 that they can plan for its
arrival, and to the private sector that there will be future
investment opportunities.
HS2 will not be a separate, standalone railway. It will
be the new backbone of our national rail network, with
HS2 services running from London and Birmingham to
cities in the north of England including Manchester,
Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and on to Scotland. It will
not only deliver significant journey time savings, but
also much needed additional capacity and increased
connectivity. Private sector companies will be able to
bid to run HS2 services, and will also be able to use this
capacity to offer a wider range of services.
We are making good progress with HS2 phase 1,
from London to Birmingham. The hybrid Bill for this
part of the railway is proceeding through Parliament
and we are aiming to achieve Royal Assent by the end of
2016, so that construction can begin in 2017.
In his reports, “HS2 Plus” (March 2014) and
“Rebalancing Britain” (October 2014), Sir David Higgins
recommended that we seek to build the section of the
route to Crewe more quickly to deliver further benefits
to the North sooner.We agree that we should realise the
benefits of HS2 as soon as possible. I am therefore
announcing today my decision on the section of the
route from Fradley in theWest Midlands to Crewe, now
referred to as “phase 2a”.We intend to accelerate phase
2a so that it opens six years earlier than planned, in
2027. This will bring more capacity and faster HS2
services to the north west of England, including Crewe,
Liverpool, Manchester and Scotland much sooner than
originally planned. Our plans will help to support growth
and deliver jobs more quickly.
Powers to build this section of the route will be
sought through a separate hybrid Bill which I intend to
introduce to Parliament in 2017. HS2 Ltd has now
procured professional services consultants (PSCs), for
the purposes of supporting the hybrid Bill development.
In the light of my decision on the HS2 route from the
West Midlands to Crewe, I am also today issuing
safeguarding directions for that part of the route, having
considered responses to the November 2014 consultation
on this. The directions will ensure that new developments
in this corridor do not affect the ability to build or
operate phase 2a or lead to excessive additional costs.
Safeguarding also triggers the statutory blight regime.
Qualifying owner occupiers whose property is within
the safeguarded zone will have the right to ask the
Government to buy their property by serving a blight
notice.We are committed to assisting people affected by
HS2. All those living within the safeguarding zone will
receive a letter informing them about potential entitlements.
I am also today launching a consultation on a wider
package of assistance measures for owner occupiers,
which go well beyond what we are required to do by law,
for those living along this section of the route, as we
have already done for phase 1.
We set out our initial preferred route for phase 2 of
HS2 in January 2013 and later that year conducted a
public consultation exercise seeking the public’s views
on the route. Today, we have published the independent
analysis by Ipsos MORI of all the responses to the 2013
phase 2 route consultation.Myroute decision on Phase 2a
takes account of the consultation responses regarding
that section of the route; and the Command Paper also
responds to the cross-cutting issues raised.
We continue to progress plans for the rest of the HS2
Phase Two route. I welcome the way local authorities,
most recently those in Leeds, the Northern Gateway
Partnership and the East Midlands, have come together
to support HS2 plans in their areas. Further work is
needed on the remainder of the Phase Two route before
a decision can be taken. I intend to make a decision in
autumn 2016, but today I can update the House on my
thinking as follows:
Leeds: We have now received Sir David Higgins’
report on Leeds station, which is also published today.
It recommends an integrated design for the HS2 station,
while maintaining a southerly route into the city. I am
minded to agree with Sir David’s proposal.
South Yorkshire: Sheffield Meadowhall was the
Government’s preferred station location in the phase 2
route consultation. The evidence continues to suggest
that this is likely to be the best way of serving the wider
South Yorkshire region and we are working with the
National Infrastructure Commission and Transport for
the North on the possible interfaces with northern
powerhouse rail. However, we acknowledge there are
arguments in favour of a city centre location and continue
to examine relevant analysis.
5WS Written Statements 30 NOVEMBER 2015 Written Statements 6WS
East Midlands: Sir David Higgins has confirmed that
HS2 Ltd recommends a hub station should be located
at Toton. Toton is also supported by the East Midlands
local authorities who are united behind this proposed
location. The Government therefore continues to support
Toton as the best location for an East Midlands hub.
Last week the Chancellor announced growth funding to
allow the area to start its planning for HS2. Part of this
will be released this year, and the remainder would be
released when a decision is made.
Manchester:Manchester Piccadilly continues to look
like the right location for HS2’s Manchester terminus.
To maximise its potential to support economic growth
in the region, it will be important to ensure effective
co-ordination with the development of northern
powerhouse rail to transform east-west links across the
north of England.We are continuing our work through
Transport for the North, and with the National
Infrastructure Commission, to explore synergies and
integration between the schemes, in order to develop
the right rail infrastructure that delivers growth across
the whole of the north of England.
We also remain of the view that a Manchester Airport
station is likely to be the right option, subject to agreeing
an appropriate third party funding contribution to the
In 2014, Sir David Higgins recommended that HS2
serve a north-west hub station at Crewe.While I am not
taking decisions on Crewe hub today, I do support the
vision for a Crewe hub. Work is ongoing. I intend to
make further announcements in 2016, and any Crewe
hub scheme will be subject to consultation. To support
the work that the Northern Gateway Partnership is doing
to develop growth and regeneration plans ahead of a
decision I am releasing part of this funding this year.
I have asked HS2 Ltd to explore options for how we
might best serve Stoke and Macclesfield, including through
classiccompatible trains via Handsacre Junction. Handsacre
Junction is part of phase 1 and will allow HS2 trains to
serve Stafford.
Scotland will benefit from reduced journey times as
soon as phase 1 opens, 3 hours 56 minutes from London
to Glasgow, compared with a typical journey time of
4 hours 31 minutes at present. Accelerating delivery
of phase 2a between theWest Midlands and Crewe will
further reduce the journey time from London to Glasgow
to 3 hours 43 minutes. The full “Y”network will provide
faster services from London to both Glasgow, 3 hours
38 minutes and Edinburgh, 3 hours 39 minutes. TheUK
Government and the Scottish Government are working
closely together to consider options to further reduce
journey times.We hope to make a statement on the next
steps in the new year.
I have not taken any decision on the remainder of the
phase 2 route. We will respond in full to consultation
responses relating to the rest of the phase 2 route when
a route decision is taken in 2016.
Copies of the Command Paper: “High Speed Two:
East and West – The next steps to Crewe and beyond”
and other accompanying documents have been made
available in the libraries of both Houses and can be
found on the Department’s website at:
The cost of HS2 has not changed since the spending
review 2013. The spending review 2015 confirmed an
overall budget of £55.7 billion in 2015 prices. This is
consistent with the £50.1billion, in 2011 prices, set in
2013, but has been uprated to take account of inflation.
Transport for the North and the Northern Transport
Today, jointly with Transport for the North, we are
publishing a progress report on the northern transport
strategy, which includes updates on our progress across
the full range of the strategy, including international
connectivity, freight, smart and integrated ticketing,
strategic roads and northern powerhouse rail. The fast,
frequent, reliable and comfortable rail service we plan
will underpin the northern powerhouse economy.
Copies of the report “The Northern Transport Strategy:
Autumn Report” have been placed in the Libraries of
both Houses and can be found on the Department’s
website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-transport
The Government have also taken steps to support the
development of Transport for the North as an organisation
that represents the whole of the north of England and
can speak to Government with one voice on the region’s
transport priorities.
Last week’s spending review committed £50 million
of funding over this Parliament to help Transport for
the North drive forward plans to transform the north’s
transport links and build a single regional economy.
Today, I amdelighted to announce, jointlywithTransport
for the North, the appointment of John Cridland as the
new independent Chair of the Transport for the North
Partnership Board. Together with his Chief Executive,
David Brown, John Cridland will have the responsibility
for delivering the northern transport strategy, working
closely in partnershipwith Lord Adonis and theNational
Infrastructure Commission.
Following advice from the National Infrastructure
Commission in March 2016, schemes such as northern
powerhouse rail will have access to a brand new£300 million
national transport development fund.