Breaking news: HS2 funding bill approved

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MPs have approved funding to prepare for the HS2 project today, Thursday.

The High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill was backed by MPs 350 votes to 34, clearing the Commons and moving the rail line a step closer to reality.

The legislation releases funds to pay for surveys, buy property and compensate evicted residents.

The bill will now go before the House of Lords.

Speaking after the vote, Penny Gaines, chairman of Stop HS2 said: “In a week when the Government has pulled out all the stops in an attempt to bolster the case for HS2, it is not surprising that the blank cheque bill was voted through.

“We know some of the MPs did so in the erroneous belief that without the Paving Bill there would be no compensation for affected residents. We thank all of those MPs from around the country who voted against the Paving bill.

“What is more telling is that on a policy that officially the three main parties support, there were so many MPs staying away from the vote. This is no clear mandate for going ahead with HS2, however the government will chose to spin it.”