My Lords, can the Minister give us some assurances about the management changes at HS2? I worked first with HS1 from an environmental point of view and then with Crossrail. I have been appalled by HS2’s environmental illiteracy. Can we make sure that in the future phases of this development, the company that replaces HS2, or its reconfiguration or whatever arrangements are made, is required to use its best endeavours to avoid going through ancient woodlands and other sensitive sites? About half of the sensitive sites that are being trashed by this development were not even identified by the company when it carried out its reviews, and that is negligent.
Perhaps I might also make the point that as far as the 52,000 ancient woodlands are concerned, it used to be one woodland, but it has been so split up and hacked into small fragments that now there are only 52,000 small pieces of it. If we keep on doing that, we will not have any at all.