Written Answers: cost of HS2 spur to Heathrow

Parliamentary written answers from 29th October 2012. It should be noted that the HS2 proposal published in 2010 did not include a link to Heathrow, and the decision to add one was subsequently added to the plans. As it is in Phase 2, residents in parts of Hillingdon could face disruption from construction from 2017 to 2033 – a total of 16 years.

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his latest estimate is for the cost of the proposed HS2 spur to Heathrow. [124960]

Mr Simon Burns: Work undertaken by HS2 Ltd indicates a base construction cost of £1.8 billion to £1.9 billion. The Government has not yet published the output of HS2 Ltd’s most recent work and any associated revised costings. However, it is unlikely that the cost quoted above will be altered significantly.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what allowance was made in HS2’s demand forecasts for abstraction of passengers from HS2 services by franchised and open access operators making use of spare capacity on the existing network once HS2 is in operation. [125152]

Mr Simon Burns: HS2 Ltd’s analysis of the economic case for HS2 is based on an illustrative service specification that takes account of expected changes in demand across both the new and existing networks. This analysis assumes that a significant proportion of long-distance inter-city demand will move from the existing railway onto the new HS2 lines, creating capacity on the classic network for additional commuter, regional and freight services. However, it would clearly be inappropriate in 2012 to take specific decisions on what the timetable of the rail network should look like in the 2030s.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assumptions his Department has made as to route and terminus locations and passenger and baggage connections between the High Speed 2 terminus station and the existing airport when calculating the latest cost estimate of the proposed High Speed 2 spur to Heathrow. [125293]

Mr Simon Burns: As stated in the Department for Transport’s business plan, the Secretary of State for Transport intends to publish his initial preferred route and station options for Phase 2 of HS2 by the end of the year. The basis of the latest cost estimate will be made clear at that point.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what alternatives to the proposed Western Connection to Heathrow Airport were examined by his Department in advance of the commitment to allocate £500 million to that project; [125294]

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost of the proposed Western Connection to Heathrow Airport; and what assessment he has made of the likely availability of private funding to cover project costs in excess of £500 million. [125296]

Mr Simon Burns: Detailed consideration of a western heavy rail connection to Heathrow Airport was recommended by the rail industry in its 2011 Initial Industry Plan. The High Level Output Specification for rail published in July 2012 asks the rail industry to develop, and subject to a satisfactory business case and agreement with the Heathrow aviation industry, commence construction of such a link in the 2014-19 period. The cost of the link and availability of private funding will be considered in detail as the rail industry develops the proposal.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what definition his Department uses for on-airport station in respect of High Speed 2. [125357]

Mr Simon Burns: In respect of Heathrow, this means within or immediately alongside the airport perimeter.

High Speed Two

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will provide the salaries, pensions arrangements, remuneration packages and expenses claimed by (a) the board members of High Speed 2 Ltd and (b) members of the external review groups in respect of High Speed 2 to date. [125393]

Mr Simon Burns: The information is as follows:

(a) The salaries, fees and expenses paid by High Speed 2 Ltd to the members of its board are set out in the HS2 Ltd annual accounts. The latest set of accounts is available on the HS2 Ltd website at:

http://www.hs2.org.uk/accounts

Alison Munro, chief executive officer, is a member of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. No other board members of High Speed 2 Ltd are or have been in receipt of pensions in connection with their role as board members of the company.

(b) HS2 Ltd has paid fees and expenses to members of Challenge and Advisory Panels totalling approximately £95,000 from the date the company started to the end of September 2012.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings took place (a) between his Department and (b) High Speed 2 Limited personnel and staff of the Office of the Rail Regulator in the last two years; and what subjects were discussed at each of those meetings. [125566]

Mr Simon Burns:. Ministers and officials met their ORR counterparts on a regular basis over the last two years to discuss a wide range of issues. There have been no meetings between HS2 Ltd officials and ORR in the last two years.

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