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MPs call for HS2 changes

by on March 3, 2016

The Commons Select Committee considering the hybrid bill for the HS2 project has completed its work having notched up 160 days of sittings over nearly two years and dealt with nearly 1,600 petitions.

At issue was the detail of the scheme between London and the West Midlands but not the principle of the proposed new rail link.

The all-party committee recommendations included:

  • A longer Chilterns bored tunnel with a north portal at South Heath
  • Greater noise protection for Wendover
  • Better construction arrangements in Hillingdon
  • A remodelled maintenance depot at Washwood Heath to maximise local job opportunities Amendments to the operation of the discretionary compensation schemes with a view toward greater fairness and a more functional property market in areas near to the proposed line.

The committee has also urged changes to the hybrid bill process. The MPs complained that many of the current petitioning procedures and hearing arrangements were inherited from previous eras and were no longer fit for purpose.

The committee said: “We do not believe that spending nearly two years on this process is sensible or sustainable in terms of recruitment of future hybrid bill committee members. Nor is it necessary or indeed helpful to petitioners.”

The MPs added: “There should be less petitioning, with more focus on serious detriment.  There is simply far too much repetition of the same issues before the committee.”

Download the full report (4MB PDF)

Roger Milne

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