Quarterly reports on environmental impact, costs and progress

Part of High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Jeremy Lefroy Jeremy Lefroy Conservative, Stafford 6:15 pm, 15th July 2019

Sadly, I have to agree that what my hon. Friend says is sometimes the case, but I would hope that with the Minister’s intervention—she has been kind to intervene in a number of cases—matters will speed up.

Given that the Chair of High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill Committee, my hon. Friend James Duddridge, is in the House, let me just say that it has been remarkable how some matters have been settled just when they were about to go to his Committee. It is therefore a matter not just of an MP getting involved, but sometimes of an issue actually coming before the Committee. That should not be the case. Common sense should prevail; getting common-sense matters put in place should not depend on pressure from a Member of Parliament or the Committee.

I am most grateful for the forbearance of hon. Members, but there are several very important matters that the House needs to be aware of and which I have tried to summarise. The first is the overall cost, about which we need the Government and HS2 to be honest with the House. The second is the question of the use and reuse of the spoil from the railway, another matter about which HS2 needs to be frank and honest with the House because of the consequences for the transport network and costs. The third is a plea that HS2 is open and transparent with all those affected, that it deals with things on the spot and that it delegates authority to its staff on the ground so that decisions can be made without the great distress that has been caused to so many of my constituents.