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Railway Network

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department has taken to identify corridors for potential future rail use; and what steps he is taking to safeguard the routes of disused railway lines. (253903)

[holding answer 3 February 2009]: Network Rail’s strategic review of the case for new rail lines is considering five of Network Rail’s strategic routes north and west of London: Chiltern, East Coast, West Coast, Great Western and Midland main lines. Initial results from this review suggest a future need for a new line between London and the West Midlands. To take forward the detailed work needed to make a firm decision on this, the company “High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd.” has been created.

Local and regional authorities can use planning processes to protect sites or alignments if they deem this appropriate. In addition, we have used our national safeguarding powers in cases such as Crossrail and consideration will be given to more specific use of these powers as our long term transport planning advances.