Legislation that will lay the groundwork for the construction of HS2 has been announced by the Queen during the State Opening of Parliament.

Two draft bills, one that gives the government the legal power to buy the land needed and another that would allow the government to build the new railway, were outlined today following a formal announcement by the Queen.

During the address, Her Majesty said: “My government will continue to invest in infrastructure to deliver jobs and growth for the economy.

“Legislation will be introduced to enable the building of the ‘High Speed Two’ railway line, providing further opportunities for economic growth in many of Britain’s cities.”

The announcement has been welcomed by the industry.

Mr Inskip, chief executive of regional transport authority Centro, said: “This is exactly what we wanted to hear, a continuing commitment and tremendous news for the West Midlands,” Mr Inskip said.

“HS2 will bring fast, direct services connecting eight of our ten largest cities, but it will also release capacity for more services on our existing lines.

“We’re already working to get the best possible benefits from HS2 at a local and regional level and so this continuing, unwavering commitment is crucial.”

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) director general Nick Baveystock said: “HS2 presents an opportunity to bring about a real step change in rail capacity and help regenerate and boost the economies of our city-regions.

“It is important however that these benefits are realised across the UK as a whole at the very earliest opportunity. A supplementary Paving Bill, granting spending powers to fast-track work on both phases, should prove a catalyst in achieving this – but this remains an ambitious project and the political and financial commitment to its delivery must continue.”

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