Protective provisions

High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 3 March 2016.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

With this it will be convenient to consider schedule 32 stand part.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Following on from what we just discussed, if the hon. Member for Middlesbrough is interested in utilities and diversions, the undertakings are published on the Parliament website. If he has a sleepless night, he can always find a way to fight the insomnia.

Order. He can do so, but we have moved on from that subject. We are now on clause 47. I suggest that the Minister writes to the hon. Member for Middlesbrough with details about that.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Thank you, Mr Hanson. You are absolutely right to call me to order.

Clause 47 concerns protective provisions and introduces schedule 32, which contains provisions protecting the interests of statutory undertakers and other bodies that may be affected by other provisions of the Bill. These provisions are similar to those in the Crossrail Act 2008 and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Act 1996. The protective provisions of the schedule cover highways and traffic; electricity, gas, water and sewerage undertakers; electronic communications code networks; the Canal and River Trust; and land drainage, flood defence, water resources and fisheries. I commend the clause and the associated schedule to the Committee.

Photo of Andy McDonald Andy McDonald Shadow Minister (Transport)

I am grateful to the Minister for that helpful explanation. We are talking about nominated undertakers and statutory undertakers—there is a lot of undertaking going on. Does the Minister envisage that there will be better co-ordination between the nominated undertaker and the statutory undertaker? Members across the House will be besieged with complaints about the myriad works by a succession of statutory undertakers in their own territory. What I am saying in words of one syllable is that the works involving statutory undertakers will be better co-ordinated if they are done in one go. That is better than multiple moving activities and many holes being dug.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Much of the work that will be carried out in the construction of this railway will be on the land we have acquired, and therefore will not affect those going about their everyday lives. However, from time to time work will need to be done on highways or other rights of way that could disrupt their lawful use. I know that, in those cases, HS2 Ltd is determined to minimise the disruption. Indeed, we are already working with local authorities to ensure we can deliver these changes sympathetically, as we are doing for lorry movements and the other potential disruptions to which this project will unfortunately give rise.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 47 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 32 agreed to.

Ordered, That further consideration be now adjourned. —(Jackie Doyle-Price.)

Adjourned till this day at Two o’clock.