10 January 2012: During the statement on Railways: High Speed Rail
Lord Faulkner of Worcester: I am sure that the Minister will be heartened by the so far universal expressions of support for the Government's decision. I should like to add to them; I think that this is a very significant day for Britain's railways and represents a real step change in our approach to transport policy. When I was working at the railways board in the late 1980s and 1990s, an official from the Department of Transport joined the board as a non-executive member, looked around the table at his first meeting and said, "You must understand that my job is to preside over the orderly decline of the railway". That was only 20 years ago, so this decision and the fact that the government document that goes with it contains statements such as,
"the Government does not consider that there is a case for major new motorways",and,
"It does not ... support a new runway at Heathrow and wants to see modal shift away from domestic routes where possible",
with the emphasis in future to be on the railway, are very significant.
Can the Minister confirm that the package of compensation proposed in the Statement is significantly more generous than that accorded to householders who are affected by road-building programmes?