Use of roads

High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 25th June 2019.

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

Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)

Clause 14 allows the nominated undertaker to use any road specified in the table in schedule 8, which is land for which only rights may be compulsorily acquired or over which restrictive covenants may be imposed, so as to obtain a right of passage for the purpose of phase 2a. This power ends five years after phase 2a is brought into general use.

Photo of Matt Rodda Matt Rodda Shadow Minister (Transport) (Buses)

The clause will require ongoing construction work and will cause significant disruption to road networks in certain areas. It is important that disturbance is kept to a minimum. The use of roads is likely to result in unplanned road congestion, which can lead to delays for motorists, disrupt public transport and interfere with walking and cycling routes. It also has the potential to disrupt many people’s travel patterns, with the increase in roadside emissions as well. It is not possible to effectively predict the impact of the disruption to road networks, travel patterns and air quality in advance, which is why Labour thinks it is important that there should be ongoing public engagement to ensure that impacts are mitigated.

Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)

The hon. Gentleman raises another important point—the issue of ongoing engagement with Highways England, local authorities, those who drive, cycle and walk, and also Members of Parliament. That is the case at the moment. HS2 Ltd has provisions in place to ensure that it works with local communities and local council management on local travel plans. It will have to continue to do so through the construction phase.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 14 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.