The High Speed Rail Bill has passed the Third Reading in the House of Commons with 399 voting in favour and 42 against. The Bill will now proceed to the House of Lords. The petition period in the House of Lords is expected to run from 24 March 2016 until 5pm on Monday 18 April 2016. Subject to completing its Parliamentary passage, construction will begin next year (2017).
Two cross-party amendments in the form of New Clause 19 and Amendment 15 were added to the legislation. New Clause 19 would impose a duty on the Secretary of State to produce an annual report on the vocational qualifications obtained in connection with the construction of HS2. Amendment 15 would insert a requirement into Clause 48 that when the Secretary of State considered an opportunity for regeneration or development, and land acquired compulsorily for that purpose, they had to give regard to the relevant development plans applied to that particular location.