Queen's Speech - High Speed Rail Bill

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LNW-GW Joint

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I didn't hear the live speech, but the BBC write-up says there will be a High Speed Rail Bill, which is for the Crewe-Manchester section of Phase 2b.
Queen's Speech 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

My Government will strengthen the economic ties across the union, investing in and improving national infrastructure.
Proposals will be taken forward to transform connectivity by rail and bus [High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill]
and to extend 5G mobile coverage and gigabit capable broadband [Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill].

What is a little surprising is that there was no mention of the long-awaited Shapps-Williams Bill/White Paper to reorganise the structure of the railway.
The Queen's Speech is of course not the last word on the legislation for the next session, as it could always be in the catch-all "other measures will be laid before you" clause.

Do we think there is still uncertainty about how/when the railway restructuring will be achieved?
I thought there would need to be some primary legislation to change the statutory position of Network Rail, ORR, DfT etc, not to mention the rail powers of the devolved administrations.
You'd expect a new Railways Bill to make any changes to the existing legislation.
Maybe the debate on the speech will unearth something more specific.
Either way we are out of the election "purdah" phase of government business so maybe the pent-up rail announcements will now come thick and fast (or not...).
 
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HowardGWR

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I didn't hear the live speech, but the BBC write-up says there will be a High Speed Rail Bill, which is for the Crewe-Manchester section of Phase 2b.
Queen's Speech 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)



What is a little surprising is that there was no mention of the long-awaited Shapps-Williams Bill/White Paper to reorganise the structure of the railway.
The Queen's Speech is of course not the last word on the legislation for the next session, as it could always be in the catch-all "other measures will be laid before you" clause.

Do we think there is still uncertainty about how/when the railway restructuring will be achieved?
I thought there would need to be some primary legislation to change the statutory position of Network Rail, ORR, DfT etc, not to mention the rail powers of the devolved administrations.
You'd expect a new Railways Bill to make any changes to the existing legislation.
Maybe the debate on the speech will unearth something more specific.
Either way we are out of the election "purdah" phase of government business so maybe the pent-up rail announcements will now come thick and fast (or not...).
I reckon all that Williams stuff is effectively dead and buried.

Did the Queen really have to read out all that garbage?
 

snowball

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Did the Queen really have to read out all that garbage?
There was a Private Eye cover in the 1960s with a picture of the Queen in her regalia giving her speech, and a speech bubble saying "I hope you realise I didn't write this crap."
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I though there might be at least one cheer for the fact that HS2 extension is still alive.
It's not all entirely rubbish, people do remember what is said in the Queen's Speech, especially if it doesn't happen.
If nothing else the Crewe-Manchester extension will be there for the "levelling up" agenda, and is an enabler for NPR plans.
 

Purple Orange

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I though there might be at least one cheer for the fact that HS2 extension is still alive.
It's not all entirely rubbish, people do remember what is said in the Queen's Speech, especially if it doesn't happen.
If nothing else the Crewe-Manchester extension will be there for the "levelling up" agenda, and is an enabler for NPR plans.

Yes it is a sign that things are progressing. Obviously questions over the eastern branch persist, but hopefully that will be answered in the affirmative soon and we don’t have to wait too long before the Crewe-Manchester bill is actually deposited.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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I didn't hear the live speech, but the BBC write-up says there will be a High Speed Rail Bill, which is for the Crewe-Manchester section of Phase 2b.
Queen's Speech 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)



What is a little surprising is that there was no mention of the long-awaited Shapps-Williams Bill/White Paper to reorganise the structure of the railway.
The Queen's Speech is of course not the last word on the legislation for the next session, as it could always be in the catch-all "other measures will be laid before you" clause.

Do we think there is still uncertainty about how/when the railway restructuring will be achieved?
I thought there would need to be some primary legislation to change the statutory position of Network Rail, ORR, DfT etc, not to mention the rail powers of the devolved administrations.
You'd expect a new Railways Bill to make any changes to the existing legislation.
Maybe the debate on the speech will unearth something more specific.
Either way we are out of the election "purdah" phase of government business so maybe the pent-up rail announcements will now come thick and fast (or not...).
There is in the supporting document the following statement on p62 which say

Rail Reform
Our railways will be the backbone of a modern, affordable and green transport network across the country and will play a central role in our recovery from COVID-19 as we build back better and level up communities across the country.
We will publish a White Paper containing proposals that will transform the railways and deliver for passengers. We will ensure that decisions are taken in the interest of passengers, using new contracts that will get trains running on time, introduce modern ways to pay, make rail more accessible and inclusive, and work more closely with local communities
We will end the complicated franchising model and create a simpler, more effective system.
my take is this presaging the long awaited (Shapps)Williams review.
 

Hophead

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Second-last paragraph:

"Other measures will be laid before you."

Covers pretty much anything, particularly the less sexy or backbencher-friendly stuff.
 

AE

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"We will end the complicated franchising model".

You know - that model introduced by a previous Conservative government who at the time said it was exactly what was needed to introduce 'competition' onto the railways.
 

ExRes

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"We will end the complicated franchising model".

You know - that model introduced by a previous Conservative government who at the time said it was exactly what was needed to introduce 'competition' onto the railways.

Is that a problem?

If they're actually going to do something positive then surely they should be congratulated for accepting the system is inadequate, needs changing and are prepared to, hopefully, do what needs to be done
 

AE

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Is that a problem?

If they're actually going to do something positive then surely they should be congratulated for accepting the system is inadequate, needs changing and are prepared to, hopefully, do what needs to be done

No, it's not a problem that they are replacing a system they introduced because it's failed but it would be refreshing if one politician just once acknowledged that they had got something wrong. The way it's written you wouldn't even know that they were correcting a mistake that they had brought about. It's not like they weren't told at the time it wasn't the best way to set things up.

Anyway, I'm pleased franchising is on it's way out and that there will be a bill to extend HS2 to Manchester.
 

DynamicSpirit

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No, it's not a problem that they are replacing a system they introduced because it's failed but it would be refreshing if one politician just once acknowledged that they had got something wrong. The way it's written you wouldn't even know that they were correcting a mistake that they had brought about. It's not like they weren't told at the time it wasn't the best way to set things up.

Which of the politicians in current Government do you think should say 'sorry I got it wrong over franchising'? Off the top of my head, I'm not sure that any of them were MPs or ministers in the early 1990s when franchising was introduced.
 

PeterC

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There was a Private Eye cover in the 1960s with a picture of the Queen in her regalia giving her speech, and a speech bubble saying "I hope you realise I didn't write this crap."
The palace actually tweeted a polite version yesterday.
The Speech is not drafted by The Queen, but by the Government, outlining policies and proposed future legislation. #QueensSpeech #StateOpeningofParliament
 

Tio Terry

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Securing Parliamentary approval to build the line is no guarantee that it will actually be built!
 

Ianno87

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Securing Parliamentary approval to build the line is no guarantee that it will actually be built!

Well yes. But it can't be built without parliamentary approval. One thing at a time...

(Looks at Phase 1 well under construction).
 

gc4946

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Maybe the government's following a bite-sized chunk approach to high speed rail - build the Crewe-Manchester section first, then West Midlands-Yorkshire later.
The Crewe-Manchester parlimentary bill - I hope - will include provision for NPR rail link.
 

ainsworth74

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Maybe the government's following a bite-chunk approach to high speed rail - build the Crewe Manchester section first, then West Midlands-Yorkshire later.

Yes, that has been the way they've been going about it for about a decade now I think ;):)
 

LNW-GW Joint

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No, it's not a problem that they are replacing a system they introduced because it's failed but it would be refreshing if one politician just once acknowledged that they had got something wrong. The way it's written you wouldn't even know that they were correcting a mistake that they had brought about. It's not like they weren't told at the time it wasn't the best way to set things up.
Anyway, I'm pleased franchising is on it's way out and that there will be a bill to extend HS2 to Manchester.
You might get them to agree that franchising is not the most appropriate way to deliver the railway going forward, but you won't get them to say privatisation in principle was a failure.
There's every sign that "franchises" will be replaced by contracts that are still delivered by the private sector.
 

snowball

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Securing Parliamentary approval to build the line is no guarantee that it will actually be built!
A few MPs will have to devote a lot of time to the committee stage, going through the proposals in detail and meeting objectors. If it then doesn't get built they will feel pissed off by the government.
 

zwk500

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If it then doesn't get built they will feel pissed off by the government.
Since when has not pissing off MPs been a concern of any government? The government will build it if it's value for money or electorally beneficial. They won't do it just to reward the hard work of the committee.
 

edwin_m

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The Crewe-Manchester parlimentary bill - I hope - will include provision for NPR rail link.
The plans for the three junctions with the Crewe-Manchester route (for Crewe-Liverpool, Manchester-Liverpool and Manchester-Leeds) are somewhere on the HS2 or GOV website - just don't ask me where - and have been consulted at least once. The actual NPR routes are still unknown, although it's pretty easy to guess what happens near the first two junctions..
 

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We had the Design Refinement Consultation last year for 2b Western, which is Crewe to Manchester. This stated the government intention to split the Eastern and Western powers. Since then the West Midlands - Crewe Act received Royal Assent. We can hopefully therefore expect to see the forthcoming Crewe - Manchester Bill reach that stage before the 2024 General Election, by which point construction will have begun also on 2a.

As to what happens with the rest of the new infrastructure, including the Eastern leg, Liverpool and Leeds to Manchester then we must continue to await the Integrated Rail Plan. It may also be a matter for the incoming government to deal with, although theoretically I understand there's not strictly a reason that Parliament cannot consider two hybrid bills simultaneously.
 

snowball

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Since when has not pissing off MPs been a concern of any government? The government will build it if it's value for money or electorally beneficial. They won't do it just to reward the hard work of the committee.
It's a good idea to avoid pissing off your backbenchers because they may turn against you.
 

squizzler

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Presumably it is easy to get people on board for the remaining HS2 network now that Phase 1 which goes to (shudder) “that thar London Town” has been done. Phase 2 can be sold as a regional rail network for the Midlands and North.
 

ainsworth74

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Didn't Thatcher have a majority of about 100 when she was deposed?

Sure, but until Labour have a sustained lead in the polls, Boris is polling worse than his party is polling with the country and there is another candidate which seems to be beginning to come through as being more popular nationally than Boris I don't think he has much to worry about from hacking of a few back benchers. To be sure the Tory party will happily support a PM one day and then viciously stab them in the back as soon as it appears convenient but it isn't really necessary for a PM or Government to really listen to the work of a Parliamentary Committee unless they want to when their majority is this strong.
 

Ianno87

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Since when has not pissing off MPs been a concern of any government? The government will build it if it's value for money or electorally beneficial. They won't do it just to reward the hard work of the committee.

It is true to say the Government is at least "pretty serious" about it if it is prepared to commit such a large amount of parliamentary time and attention to it.
 

zwk500

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It is true to say the Government is at least "pretty serious" about it if it is prepared to commit such a large amount of parliamentary time and attention to it.
I have no doubt the government is serious about its intention. But it won't have any qualms about cancelling it if the committee finds it isn't a sensible investment. And it certainly won't be worried about annoying the committee members.
 
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