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HS2 Bill to get final Lords reading today

HS2 High Speed Rail

The third reading of the High Speed Rail (HS2) Bill will take place in the House of Lords this afternoon.

The reading is the final chance to make changesto the bill before it is passed back to the House of Commons.

At the reading, the House of Lords is expected to discuss, among other issues, the protection of Transport for London (TfL) as the traffic authority for Greater London Authority roads. As part of the amendment HS2 will be expected to consult with TfL before affecting any traffic regulation mechanisms such as bus lanes, cycle lanes and weight limits on roads. TfL will then have two months to consider and respond and be reimbursed for any costs that arise.

It is expected that the phase one hybrid bill will receive Royal Assent in the second week of February, unlocking powers for works to start going ahead.

At the Lords report stage on 24 January, members discussed subjects including proposed start dates for construction, estimates of costs, traffic regulation, protected species and Euston station.

There were two divisions (votes) on proposed changes to the bill.

Members discussed the merits of an interim terminus for High Speed 2 at Old Oak Common and a planned railway station in northwest London. A change to the bill was proposed to commission a review to examine these benefits which went to a vote. However, only 80 members were in favour, with 261 against, so the change was not made.

The members also voted on an amendment to produce plans setting out how to limit lorry traffic around construction sites in the Euston area. However, this vote also failed with 63 members for the change and 161 against.

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