Quarterly reports on environmental impact, costs and progress

Part of High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:30 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Transport) 4:30 pm, 15th July 2019

I wish to make a little more progress, and then I will be happy to take the hon. Gentleman’s intervention.

Let me continue talking through a bit of the history of this project. We know that, by 2011, HS2 was being mapped out at a cost of £37.5 billion. We have seen that cost rise to £55.7 billion today. The narrative around the project has also changed. Frustrations have been expressed by the public, and often echoed in this place, because they want to fully understand the benefits that this project will bring. I trust that the Minister will go back and review the communications on this, because clearly people up and down the country have been hearing about the costs involved but not about the benefits. We need far more clarity, particularly when we know that this will be such a powerful instrument in creating jobs. We also want to give hope and new opportunities to businesses in the supply chain up and down the country, and there is work to do on that.

We need to ensure that those people who are making a sacrifice for this project—whether it is their home or their business that they are having to relocate—get the answers that they need. Labour wants far better governance of the project so that the public get their answers in a timely way from HS2, so that they can make their plans in confidence as they move forward.