I know that my hon. Friend is concerned about the impact of traffic in his constituency; indeed, we discussed it when he came to the Department just last week. HS2 Ltd is already working with Highways England and local highways authorities to mitigate the effects of construction traffic, and will continue to do so as the High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill progresses. The planning regime established under the Bill includes powers for local planning authorities to approve final construction routes for large goods vehicles. We will work closely with local authorities to make sure that impacts on local communities and traffic are appropriate.
Will the Minister update the House on the measures that will be put in place to tackle and mitigate the impact of traffic, and particularly its effect on junction 15 of the M6, resulting from the construction of phase 2a?
Indeed, we recognise the need to keep traffic moving on local roads during construction, primarily for the benefit of residents and businesses. Under current plans, junction 15 of the M6 is an important access route for HS2 construction traffic. We recognise that it also provides an important access route to the Stoke-on-Trent area. HS2 Ltd is working closely with Highways England to minimise the impact on the M6 and consider any opportunities for co-ordinated delivery with a smart motorway.