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Transport Secretary in West Yorkshire rail link pledge
8:00am Tuesday 26th February 2013 in News
A Bill will set down in law when the high-speed rail network will reach West Yorkshire to calm fears that the line will stop at Birmingham.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced plans for a ‘paving Bill’ to press the accelerator on the controversial £33bn HS2 project. And he pledged the legislation would include a commitment to build phase two – taking 225mph trains from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester – by 2033.
Labour has thrown doubt on the commitment to phase two, because the legislation will only take the legal powers to build the line from London to Birmingham.
But Mr McLoughlin said the paving Bill would specify “when, not if” HS2 will reach West Yorkshire, to answer that criticism.That would send a “clear message to investors” that the project was going ahead, unlocking further opportunities for regeneration around stations.
The Transport Secretary said: “Introducing a paving Bill will allow parliament to underline our commitment to high-speed rail.”