Quarterly reports on environmental impact, costs and progress

Part of High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Antoinette Sandbach Antoinette Sandbach Conservative, Eddisbury 5:30 pm, 15th July 2019

I am glad to be giving voice, because I sound a bit croaky—I am losing my voice.

I agree that there are potential benefits, but the question is whether those benefits are worth the cost and whether the business case stacks up. I would much rather see the east-west Northern Powerhouse Rail connection happen as a priority.

When a rolling stock depot is moved from another constituency to mine and put next to a school, thereby requiring the whole school to move, there seems to be either a level of incompetence or staggering complacency in the management of the project. I have been at events where my constituents have asked questions and not received answers.

There have been ministerial orders to provide mock-ups of the rolling stock depot so that we can understand the scale and impact, and HS2 has just ignored them and said that it will not provide the mock-ups. Then there has been a change of Minister, who has taken a different approach.

My concern is that, unless this protection is in the legislation, we will potentially see a change of Secretary of State, and that we will then not have the protections in relation to this kind of infrastructure project that all our constituents deserve.