High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill

Part of Speaker’s Statement – in the House of Commons at 5:28 pm on 28th April 2014.

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Photo of Mary Creagh Mary Creagh Shadow Secretary of State for Transport 5:28 pm, 28th April 2014

We have been very clear that there is not a blank cheque for this project. The Select Committee will obviously look at the parts of the Bill, as it goes through it and hears the petitioning process, but a very clear budget is set out for the project from now until 2020. There will be annual reports on the budget under our amendments to the paving Bill. We look forward to receiving the first report from the Government.

The Transport Secretary has admitted that the legislation will not be passed before the 2015 election, as was apparent to all Members, so his Government have missed their target on that. It is right that there is proper scrutiny and ample opportunity for the Select Committee to examine every complaint and comment thoroughly, but there must be no more Government delays.

I want the Secretary of State or the Minister who replies to the debate to tell us when we can expect the Secretary of State’s response on the phase 2 route to ensure that the north, the north-east, the north-west and Scotland reap the full benefits from HS2 quickly. What impact does the Secretary of State anticipate the construction of the line will have on the Great Western franchising process, which is due in 2016?

On workers memorial day, we remember all workers who have been killed at work, particularly in constructing our transport infrastructure across the decades. In particular, we remember the worker who was recently killed on the Crossrail project, and send our condolences to his family and friends. Our ambition, which I am sure is shared in all parts of the House, is that this railway is free from fatalities and serious injuries.