01 February 2017
Eleventh-hour bid fails to derail HS2
The controversial high-speed rail project is all set to go ahead after peers in the House of Lords opposed the last attempt to block legislation that paves the way for the scheme.
The amendment was proposed by backbench Tory peer Lord Framlingham, who argued all credibility for the scheme had "long since gone", but was opposed by a majority of 360 votes.
A total of 386 peers pushed back against the amendment to stop the £55.7 billion project, against 26 in favour.
After more than three years of parliamentary scrutiny, the controversial new rail network will now go to the Queen for royal ascent having passed its third reading.
Opening the debate on his amendment, Lord Framlingham said: "Sometimes desperate situations require desperate remedies."
He told peers that they were "all that stands between the wishes and the welfare of the people and a folly on the greatest scale imaginable".
The former Commons speaker says allowing it to proceed would "result in massive expenditure and a huge disruption in both London and the countryside for no discernible benefit at all".
Phase one of HS2 from London to Birmingham will start in the spring and is due to open in December 2026.
The Y-shaped phase two will be staggered, with phase 2a between the West Midlands and Crewe opening in 2027 and phase 2b, between Crewe and Manchester and from the West Midlands to Leeds, South Yorkshire and the East Midlands, to begin operation in 2033.