Live HS2 Statement House of Commons

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Live HS2 Statement

Live coverage of the statement made by transport secretary Chris Grayling to the House of Commons on HS2.

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record. This now maintain an orderly atmosphere as the Secretary of State


for transport makes his way to the dispatch box to deliver his


statement. Secretary Chris Grayling. Well, Mr Speaker may start by saying


how grateful I am for that statement. I am pleased to be front


of the House tonight and as you know Mr Speaker sometimes these things


can happen as a result of clock up rather than conspiracy. Today, Mr


Speaker Martine major milestone in the German fans to deliver HST. It


would have is the real capacity network that will need for the next


century and faster journeys and kinetic collectivity between cities


in the UK. As a next to the House to the UK will wording stage one for


the phase one would from London to Birmingham. This was covers design


and preconstruction activities but it is safe to say that initial work


is safe to say that initial works are begun. We expect the contracts


to be signed by the end of this month after the completion of the


mandatory standstill period. Stages one and stage is the full


construction phase is worth ?6.2 billion. They will create about


16,000 during jobs around the country and expected to create 7000


opportunities in the supply chain of which I expect about 60% to go to


SMEs. Mr Speaker, as well as that announcement, I'm today introducing


the faith to a high-speed rail Westminster to crew -- West Midlands


to crew. This is only had that the Westminster putt the design of the


root said that in the Bill was likely as announced in 2015 however


there are three refinements following consultation latter. I


have decided to move the connection to the West Coast mainline and the


start of the tunnel in crew further south, and also decided to move the


construction railhead from the Basra area near As many of that opinion


say no. To -- As many of that opinion say no. Norristown.


Attributed to the better side from which to maintain phase two A. This


new silicon can book construction going north and south


simultaneously. It will act good access to the M6 in the existing


rail network at this location. Speaking of Crewe at moving family


bathroom area where voice housing regeneration in that area and


reduces the impact of only two a route. It was were saying that that


area Basford is one of their most significant economic and housing


development areas. These have also been carefully designed to minimise


the local impact, particularly the community of John Field and having


heard local In preparing this Bill, HS two has


sought to minimise the impact on environment and communities. There


will now be a consultation, which will provide the opportunity to


comment on the environmental effects and the reasonable alternatives


considered. This process will result in a report from an independent


assessor, provided to all members of the House before the second reading.


Turning now to crew. The... I know there is a strong ambition to


achieve this. I am launching a consultation in options to develop a


crew hub. This will extend to Stoke-on-Trent and bring benefits to


places like Chester, North and South Wales, and Shrewsbury. It will be


subject to affordability and value for money. A Crewe hub will require


working together, but I believe there is the potential to develop


more benefits. Finally, I announce my decision on the outstanding


sections of the phase two route to Leeds, consulted on last year. After


carefully considering the responses, I have considered this issue very


carefully. I have decided to confirm the following changes to the route.


Though Westlake rolling stock depot will move to a site north of Crewe.


This will be included in the full environmental assessment. I have


looked carefully at that assessment. A 26 kilometre section of the route


in the middle will change and be raised as it passes through the


Cheshire salt plains to avoid brining and gas storage


infrastructure. The changes to Manchester Piccadilly station will


reduce impact on residential areas and a primary school. The route near


East Midlands Airport will follow the eastern side of the a 42, which


avoids tunnelling under the airport and reduces the impact on some


communities. In Long Eaton, the route will pass on a viaduct, the


route in South Yorkshire will be the group we we consulted on and serves


Sheffield City centre by a spur on the HS2 line. I am asking HS2 to


take forward a provision giving a City centre to City centre


connection, which is important for the future development of Northern


Powerhouse rail as well. We will continue to work on the Parkway


station. Finally, I have decided not to proceed with the proposed change


of fruit in East mission. This route has moved approximately


80 metres and the viaduct extended to mitigate commercial property


impact. I have also heard the concerns raised by local communities


about the proposed Eastern leg rolling stop depot. There is a


better option on which I am now consulting, east of Leeds and the


air Valley, adjacent to the M1 on a Brownfield site. I intend to bring


forward a third hybrid, and in preparation of that Bill, HS2 is


consulting on the methodology to be used. Today's decision, I know,


bring certainty to communities that have been unsure for years. I am


updating the construction and operation of the line. I can also


confirm the same range of property schemes currently operating phase


one and phase two A will be available for phase two B. This goes


what is required by law and gives assistance to those along the route.


I have made amendments to some of the detail of urban brutal


boundaries for phase to be. Mr Speaker, a report published today


by property specialists tell us the particular circumstance of the


development in South Yorkshire, it means the package may not allow some


homeowners to acquire a similar property in the area. In light of


the findings, I can confirm the government will ensure homeowners


can secure a comparable home as referred to in my summary document,


to won from concept to reality, which is published today. That is


really important, Mr Speaker. We need HS2, since privatisation, the


number of passenger journeys on our rail network has doubled. We cannot


continue to rely on the legacy of our round network. HS2 will free up


space on existing railways, reducing overcrowding, allowing options for


more varied and frequent services, including four places which


currently do not have a good connection to London. This will


allow more freight trains, and could double the number of peak-time seats


on services, compared to today. It has the potential to double peak


seats from London to Peterborough, and East Coast destinations further


north. Significant investment needs to offer good value for money, as


HS2 does, and I am publishing today be updated business case for phase


two, showing that including wider economic benefits, the network will


create ?2.30 benefit for every ?1 spent. We want to make the best of


our investment in HS2. When phase one becomes operational, HS2 trains


will run all over the UK. Phase two will reduce journey times between


London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and to my Scottish colleagues, we will


continue to work with transport Scotland and Network Rail to look at


the best ways to reduce times towards an ultimate ambition of


three-hour journey times. We are also looking at opportunities to use


HS2 to support Northern Powerhouse rail and Midlands connect. I know


that for those living along the line of route, today's announcement will


not be welcome news. There will be concerned over how HS two will work.


I am determined that we will engage extensively with everyone affected


and we will show fairness, compassion and respect. All the


products mentioned today will be in the hybrid of both houses. Our plan


for Britain is to build a stronger, fairer country with an economy that


works for everyone, with wealth and opportunity spread across the


country. And we set up to succeed in the long term. Investment is a key


part of this. To one that will be the backbone of the new rail


network, and will transfer ice into the 21st century. It will bring our


country closer together and support our economic growth. The benefits of


HS2 will be felt across the whole United Kingdom, and I commend this


statement to the House. Andy MacDonald. Thank you, Mr Speaker. I


thank you, Mr Speaker, for hearing the point of order earlier today


made by my right honourable friend, the Member for Doncaster North. What


can encourage the Secretary of State to better inform the House of the


crucial decisions he has reached on one of the most significant, costly


pieces of transport infrastructure that this country has proposed the


many a year. Acts the Secretary of State will explain what happened


earlier today, given the widespread trailing of an oral statement on the


anticipated announcement, but subsequent disappointment of this


House at being asked to settle initially for a written statement


that is until such times as the outcry seemingly reached the


Transport Secretary's years, and his somewhat elated appearance in the


chamber here tonight. Mr Speaker, Labour has consistently supported


HS2, and the attendant benefits it will bring. And indeed, was its


initial proposer in 2009. But that support brings with it many


questions. On the construction, there are concerns that companies


selected to do this blacklisted workers. What assurances can


Secretary of State give that no such practices will be tolerated in


delivery of HS2? Far too often insignificant project in recent


times, overseas contractors and there are several that have been


awarded contract here, have brought in their own labour, and have


exclusively recruited from jurisdictions outside the UK.


Clearly, HS2 represents huge employment and career opportunities


for apprentices and established workers alike, so can the Secretary


of State guarantee that the practices we have seen, the


construction industry that have excluded UK workers from projects,


will not be allowed to obtain in the construction of HS2? There are


concerns about the financial health of Karelian. Can he suggest these


measures he has put in place to assure the financial stability of


any contractors will not delay or add to the cost of the project. It


wasn't his job to monitor conflict of interest in the delivery of HS2,


but given the revelations of the revolving door, between HS2 and the


engineering firm, does he access that he does in fact have such an


obligation if the public are to have confidence in the contractual


arrangements between HS2 and the contractors. And on the overall


cost, what assurances and guarantees can he give that the total cost will


not exceed the stated ?55.7 billion, and will not spiral as has been


alleged in certain quarters. In one of the many documents published


today, we were told that in adopting the route in South Yorkshire, whilst


HS2 Limited has included in the costs of the estimate of a junction


north of Sheffield and back onto the HS2 line, it hasn't costed


electrification of the Midland mainline between Clay Cross and


Sheffield Midland. Or from Sheffield to the north. So can the Secretary


of State therefore advise the House whether it is intention that the


line be electrified in readiness HS2, and if so, when, or whether he


is working on the basis that trains to Sheffield will be bimodal and the


line will remain an electrified. Can the Secretary of State supply


particulars in respect of potential Parkway stations, and can Secretary


of State also provide an update as to the progress of a northern East


to West rail link up to the north-west, namely Crossrail for the


North, and its connection with HS2, and what discussions he has had with


transport for the North in that regard. Finally, will he reassure


the House that the announcement on the progress on HS2 will not be


followed by an announcement of further yet delays of


electrification of the trans-Pennine route. I am grateful for the


opposition's support for the HS2 project, and I hope we can work


together on it. It unites the House, or a large proportion, in this is a


necessary development. As I said a moment ago, I am pleased to be here


now. We have clock up and not conspiracy. On the construction


contracts, let me say first of all that we have contracted a range of


significant British companies as part of the awarding of the contract


today. We have a range of consortia participating. Many of the consortia


are an integral part of Crossrail, our biggest engineering project


here, and the biggest in Europe. We have a good team of UK


organisations, international organisations, used to working in


this country to deliver big infrastructure projects. The


assurance I give to the honourable gentleman of the House, I have been


clear all along that those companies that win contracts for HS2, whether


it is the construction, we will have an obligation to make a commitment


to leave a lasting skills project, apprenticeships, skills development


and we have colleges in Birmingham and Doncaster that will help develop


real expertise for the future. We would all hope it pulls through


because I want to see British business succeed. Carrilion are


committed to deliver their part of the contract, and I am confident,


what ever the situation, the consortium will deliver the results


we expect. We talked about conflict of interest. HS2M have pulled out of


the contract and I want to assure we have proper behaviour by companies


in the future or they will not be able to continue to work for us if


they do not do the right thing. He asked about the total cost, there


have been wild rumours in the last 24 hours about the cost of the


project based on, frankly, a finger in the air by people not involved in


the project. I Sibley remind the House that it is ridiculous to


suggest HS2 costs five times the value of HS one.


It is currently on-time and on budget, and I expect it to that way.


We have been good with Crossrail and the Olympics, delivering on time,


and I am sure we will carry on doing so. He asked about the elective


vocation of the 18 route. I see the link is an important part.


In terms of the whole northern powerhouse rail project, I am


waiting for transport for the North to bring forward their proposals.


And indeed, with modernisation, nothing has changed. Can I thank you


and the Secretary of State to coming to make a statement on this


important project, even at this late time of night. I am willing to


discuss HS2 with the Secretary of State at any time of the night or


day. The Secretary of State has put a great deal of confidence in the


contractors he announced today, who he is an awarding set 6p of taxpayer


money to. But by glancing at recent news reports, an Austrian firm is


pulling out of a hydroelectric plant contract in Bosnia, and they sought


to increase the contract price. Subtitles will resume


on 'Monday In Parliament' at 2300.