HS2 took a major step forward this evening as the hybrid Bill for Phase One of the scheme between London and Birmingham successfully passed its third reading in the Commons with MPs voting 399 to 42 in favour of the Bill. The Bill will now pass to the House of Lords. Subject to completing its parliamentary passage, construction will begin next year (2017).
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
Once again Parliament has backed HS2 and brought this vital new railway one step closer to reality. British contractors are now bidding to build the line, British apprentices are waiting to work on it and British cities are waiting to benefit from it.
We expect HS2 to begin construction next year. As we enter this new phase I make 3 pledges: we will work closely with those communities affected by the HS2 route, we will keep a firm grip on costs and we will drive maximum value for money from this new railway.
HS2 opening speech for third reading.