Latest Rail News

08.05.13

Green light for HS2 legislation in Queen’s Speech

HS2 will go ahead, the Queen’s speech has confirmed. The £33bn project has undergone serious opposition from campaign groups and people living near the planned route, but an HS2 Hybrid Bill and High Speed Preparation Bill have now been announced.

The Hybrid Bill will give the Government Parliamentary permission to build the line, and any specific powers needed to operate it. The Preparation Bill will provide the financial powers to proceed with HS2 more quickly than otherwise possible and provide Parliamentary authority for expenditure on property compensation.

The speech said: “Legislation will be introduced to enable the building of the ‘High Speed Two’ railway line, providing further opportunities for economic growth in many of Britain’s cities.”

Michael Roberts, chief executive of ATOC said: “The inclusion of the HS2 legislation in today’s Queen’s Speech is good news for both passengers and the economy. This commitment is the next important step in securing a modern high speed rail network linking the north and south of Britain which will unlock significant economic and environmental benefits.

“A new high speed line, alongside sustained investment in the existing network, is key to providing the extra capacity today’s booming rail industry will need in the years ahead.”

Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip said: “This is exactly what we wanted to hear – a continuing commitment and tremendous news for the West Midlands.

“HS2 will bring fast, direct services connecting eight of our ten largest cities, but it will also release capacity for more services on our existing lines.

“We’re already working to get the best possible benefits from HS2 at a local and regional level and so this continuing, unwavering commitment is crucial.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image c. DfT

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