Phase 2a Second Reading on Tuesday

The Second reading for the Phase 2a HS2 bill is due for Tuesday 30th January. This is likely to be in early afternoon, after questions to the Secretary of State for Business and a ten minute bill.

We’ll be live tweeting it (at stophs2, Penny_Gaines and JoeRukin). It will be in the Main Chamber, so you’ll be able to watch it live (or recorded) at the Parliament TV website, on BBC Parliament, or a number of other live feeds.

It should be noted that HS2 itself has still never really been debated in Parliament. There have been debates about aspects of HS2 – with the Secretary of State of the day saying that the overall idea will be debated at some other time: but the third reading of Phase 1 had 37 minutes of debate on the bill itself, less than a minute for each billion pounds worth of spending.

We expect similar tactics to be used in the second reading debate. But it certainly isn’t a case that the bill will sail through completely unopposed: Michael Fabricant, Jeremy Lefroy and Bill Cash have included an amendment on the environmentally damaging nature of the route, issues over the onward travel of passengers form Euston and a number of other problems.

What’s more, inspite of ongoing claims that HS2 is to time and budget, these are getting more and more farcical. Just the existence of a Phase 2a bill is enough to show this: originally there was only going to be one bill for the entirety of Phase 2 bill. Phase 1 was two years late in getting through Parliament and is still being designed: there is no proper plan for Euston and communities are being kept in the dark as to what is happening in their areas.

And its been noticeable in the last few days there have been a flurry of activity from pro-HS2 organisations. These range from the announcement of a design document for the Colne Valley Viaduct to claims that Cumbria will benefit from HS2 by a director of Transport for the North (criticised by businesses in Cumbria, who realise that ‘the North’ is a lot more than than the limited stations on the HS2 route).

The second reading will be followed by the petitioning stage, when those directly affected by HS2 can petition the hybrid bill committee. This is supposed to give ordinary people a chance to make changes where they are directly affected, but the experience of many people on Phase 1 was that their concerns were ignored.

2 comments to “Phase 2a Second Reading on Tuesday”
  1. It is time we had more letters! The HS2 farce has started
    just outside Great Missenden, I suppose there must have been at least 4-way traffic lights as part of HS2’s traffic management scheme. I would stress these are I believe just investigative works, not sure how long they are going to take, but jump ahead to when the real work begins and just imagine. All those soothing words from the Select Committee saying how it would all be alright at the end, well it won’t, the wool has been pulled over the gullible eyes of The Committee, only too happy to believe anything the HS2 legal team said, just to speed up the process.
    Then, we come to the release of very important information relating to the timescale, cost and viability of the 1st. stage of HS2 and, guess what happens, Grayling decides, in his wisdom, to redact, i.e. hide, any information which might damage or slow down the farce which is HS2, all very democratic, I don’t think.
    Who do these clowns think they are, it’s clear they think they can do just what they like, and to hell with the rest of us. So, I say to hell with them!
    Now, come on let’s have more publicity, it’s not over yet, and let’s see whether those submitted tenders will be carried out at probable below cost, or will they be withdrawn?

    • Thoroughly agree!
      Am ashamed to say that I have only recently become aware of the damage, disruption, deviousness of the ‘enthusiasts’ etc.
      Thanks to Stop Hs2 for continuing to keep us updated, despite the conspicuous lack of information/interest.
      People I have spoken to have stated (categorically) that ‘it will never happen’! – so don’t bother about it . . . .
      The Government have spent so much already that they are unlikely to back down . . . .
      A very expensive way to diminish the current services – West Coast Mainline from Stafford is currently provided with an excellent service to London Euston with choice of fast/slower trains each hour.
      The work at Euston has already meant cut services week-ends and holidays.
      Do the football fans of Liverpool/Everton, Manchester United/City realise the effect disruption at Euston will have on London fixtures?
      A Stafford taxi driver I had occasion to speak to this week did not realise that the Hs2 will not be stopping often at Stafford (if at all). He promised to look up your site – and, hopefully to spread the word to his colleagues though the vote hasn’t done much in Stafford since!
      Please don’t give up.

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