High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:17 pm on 14th April 2016.

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Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Parliamentary Under-Secretary 4:17 pm, 14th April 2016

Of course. As I said, if there are additional questions, I will be pleased to write to noble Lords.

I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, for her support. She said that the Liberal Democrat approach would be that of a critical friend to the Bill. It is right that in the revising nature of our Chamber we would hope that the discussions we have are always friendly, albeit a tad critical, but I understand the concerns that the noble Baroness has raised. She raised, rightly, connectivity with the rest of the network. As she will know, we are undertaking one of the largest programmes of investment in the railways. That is important. I have previously said from this Dispatch Box that the Government are investing £38 billion in the railways in the next five years.

The noble Lord, Lord Birt, raised the issue of investment generally over the next 15 or 20 years. I can certainly give him the detail that in the next five years the overall transport investment is in excess of £60 billion, in addition to the money we are spending on HS2. I hope that that underlines the Government’s commitment to the importance of transport infrastructure in the United Kingdom.