High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill Contents

1The Committee’s task

1.Our instructions were to consider petitions against the Bill and ‘additional provisions’ to it (additional provisions being, for these purposes, amendments that potentially affect other bodies and individuals). We had powers to amend the Bill but not on its principle, which the House defined as:

[ … ] the provision of a high speed railway between Euston in London and a junction with the West Coast Main Line at Handsacre in Staffordshire, with a spur from Water Orton in Warwickshire to Curzon Street in Birmingham, and intermediate stations at Old Oak Common and Birmingham Interchange.

Also not at issue before us was the railway’s “broad route alignment”.1 The “broad route alignment” language was chosen to permit an element of sensible discretion. We had power to make changes within but not outside that alignment.

2.A total of 2,586 petitions was deposited against the Bill and its additional provisions, of which 1,918 petitions were deposited against the Bill itself and 668 were against additional provisions.2 We heard nearly 1,600 of these. Approximately 800 petitions were withdrawn from the process or were not the subject of any appearance before the Committee. Many petitioners chose sensibly and helpfully to associate themselves with one or more other petitioners whose petition issues were similar or identical, and elected not to appear on that basis. There were approximately 300 of these, representing somewhat more than 10% of total petition numbers. They are listed in Annex 1. We thank them.

3.The members of the Committee before the General Election in May 2015 were: Robert Syms MP, Henry Bellingham MP, Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Ian Mearns MP, Yasmin Qureshi MP and Michael Thornton MP. From July 2015 the members were: Robert Syms MP, Sir Henry Bellingham MP, Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, David Crausby MP and Mark Hendrick MP.

1 HC Deb, 29 April 2014, col 771 [Commons Chamber]

2 www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/high-speed-rail-london-west-midlands-bill-select-committee-commons/publications/

© Parliamentary copyright 2015

Prepared 29 February 2016