The Parliamentary select committee for the HS2 Phase One hybrid bill has finished hearing petitions from those along the line of route raising concerns about the plans.
The committee has worked for two years, during which time it has dealt with nearly 2,600 petitions (of which nearly 1,600 were heard) and held sittings on 160 days. Its remit was to suggest modifications to the hybrid bill for Phase One where appropriate to address petitioners’ concerns. The committee believes its work has helped ‘to add substantial environmental, social and design benefits to the scheme, commensurate with good use of public money and a viable engineering design’.
Among changes influenced by the committee’s work are a 2.6km lengthening of the tunnel beneath the Chilterns and revised plans for the rolling stock depot at Washwood Heath to reduce land take. The committee has called for ‘an holistic approach’ to the design of a redeveloped Euston station but has rejected suggestions that HS2 should terminate at Old Oak Common in west London to avoid a costly redevelopment at the terminus.
The committee has also made recommendations on improvements to compensation for those affected by HS2, and notes that the Need to Sell scheme now in place is ‘a better scheme than its predecessor’, while still calling for its continued improvement.