Brexit negotiations will not delay Royal Ascent for High Speed 2’s (HS2) phase 2a despite the Hybrid Bill second reading being delayed.
Speaking at the New Civil Engineer Tunnelling Summit 2017, HS2 Ltd chief engineer Tim Smart said the date for the second reading of phase 2a hybrid Bill had been pushed back from the beginning of December to January next year due to Brexit negotiations taking up time in the Houses of Parliament. However, he said this would not delay the project going forward.
“We can still meet our programme for getting Royal Assent on phase 2a. What tends to be more critical is how long it takes the government to form a committee in the commons.
“The time you spend in the first and second house is proportional to the number of petitions you get. If you look at phase 1, we got over 1600 and phase 2a is a lot less than that so that shouldn’t be much of a problem for us.
“We’ve learnt from the phase 1 hybrid bill and what has been key to that is we’ve engaged with our stakeholders to make them understand our plans and make them aware of what we can do for them and give them that assurance.”
He said depending on how the bill progressed, it was looking to start procurement for phase 2a in 2022.