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High Speed Rail (London to West Midlands) Bill 2013-14



  • Type of Bill:

    Government Bill


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The Bill was introduced in the Queen's Speech on 8 May 2013 and provides for the building of the first section of the 'High Speed Two' railway line. The Bill was presented to the House of Commons by transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, on 25 November 2013

The Hybrid Bill, coming following the passing of the paving Bill, forms part of the High Speed Rail legislation and makes provisions for a railway between the following:

  • Euston to Staffordshire
  • Hammersmith and Fulham to Islington
  • Warwickshire and Birmingham

The main measures of the Hybrid Bill include giving the government powers to:

  • Compulsorily acquire or temporarily take possession of land required for the scheme
  • Construct and maintain the railway
  • Provide deemed planning permission for the scheme

The Bill was expected to be short, but objections were raised about the government's intentions in introducing it. Due to the controversial nature of the project and claims made regarding consultants fees, the Bill is likely to be contentious, so a quick passage through Parliament is not guaranteed.

The government's timetable outlined their expectations that the Bill would receive Royal Assent by 2015.

The TaxPayer's Alliance called the high speed rail line "a great vanity project" and said it was "poor value compared to more affordable alternatives".

The Institute of Civil Engineers welcomed the HS2 Paving Bill as it presented "an opportunity to bring about a real step change in rail capacity and help regenerate and boost the economies of our city-regions."

The Association of Train Operating Companies said the HS2 legislation was "the next important step in securing a modern high speed rail network linking the north and south of Britain which will unlock significant economic and environmental benefits."

The Institution of Engineering and Technology criticised the government's piecemeal approach to HS2 as it risked "phase two never getting further than the drawing board."