First HS2 bill signed into law

The High Speed Rail Preparation (paving) Act has received Royal Assent, bringing into law the first piece of legislation designed to deliver the High Speed Two (HS2) line.

The Act allows expenditure on essential preparatory work, including construction design, on all future phases of the HS2 line.

“Receiving Royal Assent for this Act on schedule provides the public and businesses further reassurance of our determination to drive forward and deliver HS2 as quickly as possible,” said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

The proposals received strong backing from both MPs and peers during its passage through Parliament, despite suggestions from Labour that it might no longer support the spiralling costs of the project.

A separate Hybrid bill will now be introduced to Parliament next week, which will give government the powers to construct and operate the new line.