Protective Provisions

Part of Orders of the Day — Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 10th December 1996.

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Photo of Mr Keith Bradley Mr Keith Bradley Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Spokesperson (Transport) 7:30 pm, 10th December 1996

Before we conclude our consideration of the Lords amendments, it is important that we note that, through the procedures adopted in the House—especially the work in the Chamber of the other place and the Select Committee procedure there—we now have a considerably better Bill than we would have had if that work had not been so diligently undertaken.

At every stage, Opposition Members have tried to facilitate the Bill's progress. Many of us feel that it was unduly delayed in the past and we are most anxious to ensure that there is no significant delay in future. Clearly, scrutiny is important and it will continue. It is also essential that the project is monitored to ensure that the developers and, ultimately, the operators comply with the conditions of the Bill when it is enacted.

We want to ensure that this important project is completed as soon as possible, to maximise the future potential of the channel tunnel and to maximise the links that it will make, not only to London, but throughout the country. In the light of the Minister's assurances that all necessary work is now under way for the upgrading of the west coast main line to Manchester and beyond, we must also maximise the benefits of that rail link. This is a project of national importance and significance, and we hope that it will now be proceeded with, with all due haste.