HS2 will transform journey times, capacity and connectivity between the Birmingham stations and Leeds, Manchester and London, and will release substantial capacity on the existing rail network. This will help the wider west midlands area to fulfil its economic potential.
HS2 is important to Scotland as well as those places south of the border mentioned by the Secretary of State. Will he update us on what discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the plans for HS2 to provide benefits to Scotland as well?
On 7 July 2011, in a letter on transparency to all the Secretaries of State, the Prime Minister wrote:
“As you know, transparency is at the heart of our agenda for Government.”
The Department and the Cabinet Office are currently concealing information and refusing to publish the Major Projects Authority report on HS2. Will the Secretary of State now show that the Prime Minister’s words are not meaningless when it comes to HS2 and publish that report immediately?
Arguably one of the benefits of HS2 is that it will create extra capacity on the conventional network. However, these services are highly unlikely to be profitable and will require extra subsidy. What calculations has the Department made about the extra cost of that subsidy and the subsequent Barnett consequentials that the Welsh Government will be entitled to?
Is my right hon. Friend aware of the concerns of constituents up and down the route of the line who have been unable to access the exceptional hardship scheme? When will he start his consultation on fair compensation? We said that we would not allow anybody to have to pay with their own assets or in terms of their own life, and yet that has proven to not be the case.