Following the recent news we covered regarding the Royal Assent for HS2 we have taken a look at just what it is and what it means for high speed 2.
So What Is Royal Assent?
“Once a bill has completed all the parliamentary stages in both Houses, it is ready to receive royal assent. This is when the Queen formally agrees to make the bill into an Act of Parliament (law).
There is no set time period between the conclusion of consideration of amendments/ping pong and royal assent.” – Official Definition From UK Parliament.
What Happens After One Is Given?
The new law, once given the go ahead within the bill, may come into effect either immediately, after a specific period or on commencement order of a government minister.
“A commencement order is designed to bring into force the whole or part of an Act of Parliament at a date later than the date of the royal assent… If there is no commencement order, the Act will come into force from midnight at the start of the day of the royal assent.” – Parliament.
So What Does This Mean?
Now that the Royal Assent have been given, it means that the final legislative step has passed before the full civil works can begin. The announcement paves the way for the 9-year construction programme to finally take place between London and Birmingham.
In light of the news, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling spoke about the move by saying, “‘HS2 will be the world’s most advanced passenger railway and the backbone of our rail network”, said Mr Grayling. “Royal Assent is a major step towards significantly increasing capacity on our congested railways for both passengers and freight; improving connections between the biggest cities and regions; generating jobs, skills and economic growth.”
HS2 Phase 1 was initially predicted to cost a staggering £21.4bn although in June 2016 this was revised to £27.4bn. The route will span a total of 225km and will link London with Birmingham and the West Coast Main Line near Lichfield. Offering an anticipated journey time of 49 min between London and Birmingham compared to a standard timing of 1 h 24 min for current inter-city services. Now that HS2 Phase 1 has been given the green light, its aim is to relieve the busy West Coast Main Line by taking most of the express services between London, Birmingham, Northwest England and Scotland.
Despite the construction having been years in waiting, work is now likely to start next spring after final consultations are undertaken and contractors are confirmed. It is predicted that the first HS2 trains will run in 2026.
As always, if you would like to discuss how the recent announcement effects and impacts you please feel free to contact the Roger Hannah & Co team here.