High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill

Part of Speaker’s Statement – in the House of Commons at 4:38 pm on 28th April 2014.

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Photo of Patrick McLoughlin Patrick McLoughlin The Secretary of State for Transport 4:38 pm, 28th April 2014

I do not want to pre-empt the review of the Davies commission, which is doing excellent work, but there is no doubt that Old Oak Common will serve Heathrow as far as Crossrail is concerned.

Our proposals strike the right balance. More than half the route is in tunnels or cuttings and more than two thirds of the line’s surface sections will be insulated by cuttings and landscaping. No grade I listed building is affected and only some 100 homes will be demolished in the nearly 100 miles of the rural part of phase 1. The line is designed to be secure against flooding. Indeed, it is notable that while weather affected many rail lines this winter, the HS1 line in Kent ran as normal.

We have also consulted and changed. There will be a longer tunnel at Northolt, a new tunnel at Bromford and a bypass at Stoke Mandeville. We have worked hard on state-of-the-art noise mitigation, but if more can be done by spending the budget better, I will ensure that that happens.