The Act received remarkable support in Parliament with 350 to 34 MP votes in favour of the project at the third reading in the House of Commons last month, thus stressing the importance of HS2 in relieving the country’s capacity needs and boosting its economic growth.
As the green light was given to HS2, essential preparatory work, including construction design, on Phase One and Phase Two of HS2 and all future phases of a high speed rail network, can be started immediately.
The paving Act will allow expenditure to be made on:
- undertaking more detailed design work
- letting contracts for designing the construction of the line
- designing the realignment of existing railway
- planning the movement of utilities
- carrying out ground investigation and ecological surveys
- making compensation payments to homeowners
Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, commented: “This is a major milestone in the HS2 project. The new north-south railway needs cross party backing, so I am very pleased that MPs representing constituencies across the country and Peers from all three main parties have again given a clear signal of support.
“Receiving Royal Assent for this act on schedule provides the public and businesses further reassurance of our determination to drive forward and deliver HS2 as quickly as possible.”
Following the success of the paving Act, the Hybrid Bill will be introduced into Parliament for its first reading on Monday, 25 November. The bill will essentially give government the authority to construct and operate the railway.