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High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:26 pm on 26th June 2013.

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Photo of Patrick McLoughlin Patrick McLoughlin The Secretary of State for Transport 2:26 pm, 26th June 2013

We will be looking at that. I will say a bit more about costs a little later, if my hon. Friend will wait. As always, we will look at how we finance, and not necessarily just in respect of the area to which he has referred. We could see private sector investment in some of the stations that we are going to develop. I will say something more about the stations in a few moments.

We will deliver the investment to develop new stations and growth at places such as Old Oak Common in west London, where we will invest more than £920 million in a new hub linking the west country, Crossrail and HS2. At Curzon street in Birmingham, we will invest £335 million on station developments. Similar investments are due in Manchester, Leeds and other great railway centres such as Sheffield and the east midlands.

HS2 will also allow for significant improvements to the rail service on the existing main north-south lines, providing benefits for towns such as Milton Keynes, Tamworth and Lichfield. It will provide real scope to get more freight on to the railways, which I would have thought Caroline Lucas would welcome. It will also free up capacity on the M1, the M6 and the M40.

My second point this afternoon is about the Bill before the House. It will authorise essential expenditure on the preparation work for high-speed rail. Planning and building the line will take time.