On 1st November, HS2 came up as the first question to the Prime Minister:
Mr Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) (Lab):
Is the Prime Minister aware that some very powerful research has been done on the question of High Speed 2? It shows that for the first 140 miles, in the leafy suburbs of the south, nearly 30% of the line will be in tunnels to avoid knocking down houses, yet now we are told that the figure is only 2% for the whole of the north. Why? It is because HS2 says, “It is too costly; knock the houses down.” Will she arrange for a meeting with people from my area, to avoid another 30 houses being knocked down in Newton, which is part of Bolsover? Is it not high time that this Government stopped treating our people like second-class citizens?
I am sure that the Department for Transport will be happy to look into the question the hon. Gentleman has raised, but of course the reason why we are doing HS2 is that it is important to increase the capacity of the railway lines going through to the north. This will be a very important contribution to the United Kingdom economy, and I assure him that if he looks at everything this Government have done, with the northern powerhouse, the midlands engine and the significant investment in infrastructure across all parts of the country, he will see that this is a Government who want to ensure that this is a country that works for everyone.