Published On: Tue, Apr 29th, 2014 on 2:13 pm

Debate flairs as second reading of HS2 Hybrid Bill passed in Parliament

HS2 Train

The second reading of the HS2 Hybrid Bill was passed yesterday as it went through Parliament as the majority of MPs from all political parties said they would vote in favour of the plans.

The heated debate for the £50bn ultra-high high-speed rail line HS2 linking Yorkshire and London garnered much controversy and debate within Parliament, and campaigners have also been protesting.

The Stop HS2 campaign has voiced opposition against the plans and has supporters from within West Yorkshire too.

Stop HS2 Chair, Penny Gaines, said: “The Government whips have clearly gone into overdrive for fear of a backbench rebellion.

“But even with a three-line whip from both the Coalition government and the Labour opposition there were still 150 MPs who abstained.”

Campaigners have requested everyone opposed to the HS2 to make it “the most toxic issue at the next election.”

There will now be a Judicial Review into the non-disclosure of the Major Projects Authority report.

The local West Yorkshire Combined Authority has backed the vote, and Chair Cllr Peter Box, has said: “By improving connectivity with other regions and providing much-needed additional capacity on our existing rail network, HS2 will provide a huge economic boost.”

HS2 is expected to deliver an additional £1bn per year to West Yorkshire’s economy and 13,000 new jobs across the Leeds City Region, according to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The planned HS2 station in Leeds is also expected to be a catalyst for a wholesale redevelopment of the city’s South Bank area.

Improved connections between cities across the north are already underway with initiatives such as the electrification of the rail link between Liverpool, Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is now calling on similar developments on the Caldervale line through Bradford and Halifax to Manchester and the Harrogate Line to York.

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