Edward Miliband debates with Department for Transport

There have been 1 exchanges between Edward Miliband and Department for Transport

Mon 17th July 2017 HS2 Update 3 interactions (102 words)

HS2 Update

Edward Miliband Excerpts
Monday 17th July 2017

(3 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Transport
Chris Grayling Portrait Chris Grayling - Hansard
17 Jul 2017, 10:41 p.m.

One of the advantages of the site is that it adjoins the west coast main line, and I expect as much as is practical to be delivered and taken away by rail. There certainly will be a road impact, however, as we move towards the construction phase. As we go through the hybrid Bill process, we will discuss that in detail with the Members of Parliament representing the affected constituencies, and I am open to asking Highways England to look at any local amelioration measures that could be put in place to ensure the least possible trouble to the local communities.

Edward Miliband Portrait Edward Miliband (Doncaster North) (Lab) - Hansard
17 Jul 2017, 10:42 p.m.

I am afraid that the Secretary of State’s statement will provoke deep anger among my constituents, not just because of the local impact on them but because they believe, as I do, that this is the wrong choice for jobs, for regeneration, for connectivity and indeed for the ambitions of HS2 for South Yorkshire. I want to ask him two questions in that context. First, the consultation came back 15:1 against the M18 route, so why did he ignore it? Secondly, can he honestly say that this is a better choice for Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham—towns that need to benefit from HS2?

Chris Grayling Portrait Chris Grayling - Hansard
17 Jul 2017, 10:43 p.m.

I know how strongly the right hon. Gentleman feels about this—he and I have spoken about it—and I give him my personal assurance that I have considered the matter very carefully. The truth is that, when it comes to consultations, there are strong views against an option when it affects a particular community. There is no doubt about that at all. I have considered the regeneration issues around Meadowhall as compared with the current route, and I have considered the engineering challenge of building a large station in the Meadowhall corridor. I have also been mindful of the potential benefits of the direct connection between Sheffield Midland and Leeds for northern powerhouse rail. My judgment, after much consideration and listening to the advice of the HS2 leadership team, is that this is the best option. I accept that the right hon. Gentleman will not agree with my decision, but I give him my personal assurance that I have not taken it lightly. I have listened to what he and others have said and given the matter careful thought. He will disagree with me, but I want him to believe that this was a sincerely taken decision.