Some recent written answers on HS2

Parliamentary Written answers on HS2 on June 3rd 2013.

Treasury: High Speed 2 Railway Line

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the National Audit Office’s report on HS2 and its identification of a £3.3 billion shortfall. [156701]

Danny Alexander: The Department for Transport will respond to the Public Accounts Committee in the usual way once the committee has examined the National Audit Office report. (HM Treasury has made no assessment of the National Audit Office report.)

Transport: East-West Rail Link

(Stop HS2 Note: Although HS2 will cross the East West Rail link, there is no provision for a interchange station. Stations in the area were dismissed in the original 2010 HS2 command paper: A HS2 station at Aylesbury was rejected on the grounds that too few people would use it, and a station at Bicester (for Oxford) was rejected on the grounds that too many people would use it.)

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the benefit-cost ratio was in the business case for building the new rail line between Oxford and Bedford via Aylesbury and Milton Keynes. [157297]

Mr Simon Burns: The promoters of the original scheme, the East West Rail Consortium, calculated the benefit-cost ratio to be 6.3 to 1 if expected economic growth was realised and over 11 to 1 if a 15% contribution was made towards the capital cost by the consortium, as has been committed. The benefit-costs ratios are currently being refreshed by Network Rail as the rail line will now also be part of the new ‘Electric Spine’ strategic route between the South Coast, the East Midlands and Yorkshire.

Transport: High Speed 2 Railway Line

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the likely effects of High Speed 2 on fares on other railway lines. [156744]

Mr Simon Burns: No assumptions have been made about the likely effects of HS2 on classic fares. The Economic Case for HS2 assumes that high speed fares are comparable to classic fares. The Department, working closely with HS2 Ltd, is considering the potential benefits that could be secured from more sophisticated pricing policies across both the HS2 and classic networks.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the potential effects of High Speed 2 on investment in areas near the line but not at the nodes. [156745]

Mr Simon Burns: The draft environmental statement published on 16 May 2013 includes an assessment of the socio-economic effects of the proposed High Speed 2 scheme. As part of this, the employment opportunities created by new business opportunities are considered at a route-wide and sub-regional level.

In addition, HS2 Limited is providing advice to the Department on the development and investment potential relating to proposed station sites. How HS2 impacts on investment in areas away from stations and depots but near to the line is very difficult to judge and will be highly specific to local circumstances. The Department is working with local partners to understand this better and to ensure that opportunities are fully explored.

Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the minimum acceptable distance between the High Speed 2 rail line and a school. [156936]

Mr Simon Burns: A minimum acceptable distance between the High Speed 2 rail line and a school has not been assessed. However, we are aware of the potential adverse effects a railway can have on a school, especially noise. Suitable (noise) mitigation measures will be incorporated for schools located close to the HS2 line as has been the case with HS1.

Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the cost to the economy of all jobs and businesses directly and indirectly lost as a result of the construction of High Speed 2. [157028]

Mr Simon Burns: No assessment has been made of the cost to the economy of all jobs and businesses directly and indirectly lost as a result of the construction of High Speed 2.

However, HS2 Ltd estimates suggest that overall the construction of HS2 will support more than 100,000 jobs. The economic appraisal estimates that HS2 will deliver net positive benefits to business of £50 billion.

Where businesses are impacted by HS2, HS2 Ltd have and will continue to work with them to understand how best to mitigate their concerns.

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2 comments on “Some recent written answers on HS2
  1. Ministers not interested in details but EW v HS2 BCR do to EW is within a rail route. HS2 is not. The Draft ES shows the old Grand Central Line as though it was operational near Twyford. Politics produces poor projects to deliver. Politicians playing the role of technical groups of the 50s and 60s which resulted in the opportunity for privatisation. Since then losses are more routine than profit. Upgrade the ECML instead of HS2 and the BCR will be increased. Political dogma is preventing common sense change.

  2. Yet another pmq’s without a question on hs2-what are our MP’s doing and when are they going to get their act together

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