HS2 Hybrid Bill introduced to Parliament

The HS2 Hybrid Bill, described as project’s planning application, has been published by the Department for Transport (DfT).

If the bill’s passage through Parliament goes smoothly, construction of the line between London and Birmingham could begin between 2016 an 2017.

The DfT has said the publication of the bill gives those opposed to the project the chance to petition against the proposals to MPs.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said: “HS2 is the most ambitious and important infrastructure project in the UK since we built the M25 30 years ago, and in 30 more it will be just as integral a part of the nation’s prosperity.

“The bill will give us the powers we need to get the railway built and start delivering the extra room on our railways that this country so desperately needs. It will also start the process of rebalancing the economy and bringing our great cities closer together.

“That is why the bill is so important – it marks the move from aspiration to delivery. Now is the time to be bold and ensure HS2 becomes a reality.”

The government has also published the environmental statement for Phase One.

In a statement, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “With rail passenger numbers along the west coast route set to rise sharply in the next few decades, HS2 is vital for delivering the extra capacity that passengers will need.”