HS2 receives Royal Assent

On the 23rd of February HS2 received Royal Assent, David's comments and a letter from the secretary of state for transport can be found below. 

David said:

"The Bill to authorise HS2 was passed by the House of Lords by an overwhelming and cross-party majority and has now become law. While this news is a matter of enormous regret to many people locally, we have to deal with the situation as it is.

"As the Bill has passed through Parliament I have worked to secure several million pounds worth of additional investment in mitigation and compensation and will continue to seek further improvements. As part of this process I have secured a meeting between the transport minister responsible for HS2 and a delegation of Wendover representatives next week to discuss further mitigation options including the option of a mined tunnel past Wendover.

"I will be continuing to press Transport Ministers and HS2 Ltd about the need for improvements in the design of noise barriers, viaducts, bridges and pantographs. It will be important to ensure that that design work and construction in general is carried in a way that minimises the adverse impact of HS2 on the local area, whether in terms of noise, visual intrusion or traffic congestion.

I also regard it as essential that the management of HS2 raises its game markedly in terms of how it deals with local residents and I've impressed upon the new team of transport ministers that HS2's record so far has bred suspicion and mistrust. Getting things right in terms of local engagement will be vital when we come to HS2's plans to manage construction work, including its impact on roads like the A413, A4010, and A41. HS2 Ltd and the Independent Complaints Commissioner need to be held to account to ensure that HS2 Ltd lives up to the promises it has made around the construction process, not only in terms of construction traffic, but also making sure that the construction staff abide by the code of construction practice."