23 February 2017
HS2 construction ‘will overshadow residents’ lives for 17 years’
Development work on a controversial high-speed rail link will have a "devastating impact" on the lives of nearby residents for 17 years, a Labour MP has said.
Frontbencher Sir Keir Starmer, member for Holborn and St Pancras, says construction vehicles and traffic congestion will cast a shadow over residents' lives when the HS2 project finally goes ahead.
Quoting local residents, Sir Keir told the Commons that those who live close to the scheme face "unprecedented" disruption, "both in intensity and duration from the HS2 construction works that will continue over a period of no less than 17 years".
Proposals for the scheme have already undergone more than three years of parliamentary scrutiny.
HS2 phase one will allow high speed trains to travel from London to Birmingham from 2026, with a further phase extending the link to Manchester, East Midlands and South Yorkshire.
Transport minister Andrew Jones said Sir Keir's comments had been "firmly heard" and that the Government is "working on the tunnel portal location".
He continued: "We aren't yet in a position to make any announcements, but I recognise that a change there will make a significant difference to a number of people.
"We are working upon this, as he clearly is aware."
House of Lords amendments to the High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill were agreed unanimously in the commons, and it is due to receive Royal Assent this week, Mr Jones added.