“The deposit of the Hybrid Bill is the culmination of months and years of hard work by everyone in our organisation. It is your dedication, skills and sheer hard work which has enabled us to deposit a Bill we can all be proud of and it will ultimately allow us to build a new north–south rail link which will revitalise Britain’s rail network and become a real engine for growth.”

Alison Munro | Managing Director Development, HS2 Ltd

High Speed Two (HS2)

Client: CH2M Hill (Development Partner) and HS2 Ltd.

Overview

HS2 is a proposed new multi-billion pound high speed rail scheme connecting London to the Midlands. Our team provides expert strategic, technical and management services to key workstreams across the HS2 project including Hybrid Bill preparation and deposit in parliament, stakeholder engagement and consultation, petition and commercial management, and project and technical management.

Key Services

Hybrid Bill preparation and deposit in parliament

Our team managed the complete process of Hybrid Bill preparation and deposit to Parliament for Phase 1 (London to Birmingham) – the largest ever Hybrid Bill deposited in Parliament. We are now managing the preparation of the many documents that will comprise and support the Hybrid Bill submission for Phase 2a of the project  (Birmingham to Crewe). This work includes:

  • Initial strategic planning and developing specifications for Bill documents
  • Managing liaison with five different engineering consultancies, lawyers, parliamentary counsel and parliamentary agents
  • Providing evidence to the parliamentary examiners and standing order committees
  • Preparing key consultation and Bill documents including information papers and statements of case
  • Ensuring compliance with standing orders, input into risk management processes, quality assurance and preparing the deposit logistics strategy.

Stakeholder engagement and consultation

Our stakeholder engagement specialists work closely with HS2, managing the complex relationships with key stakeholders along the proposed route including local authorities, statutory bodies, landowners and other affected parties. This work includes:

  • Stakeholder gap analysis and technical engagement strategy and plan
  • Extensive programme of one-to-one engagement with a broad range of stakeholders
  • Materials development including training programmes for managers along the proposed route and a system of recording all communications with affected parties
  • Working with heads of petitions organisations, reviewing relationship managers’ stakeholder liaison plans and ongoing communications with key stakeholders to identify potential petitions issues.

Petition and commercial management

As Bill preparation progressed we advised on and were responsible for the petitions management strategy that included organisational structure design, planning and scheduling for this key activity. As part of the team negotiating commercial agreements with key stakeholders we were responsible for:

  • Identifying, influencing and establishing relationships with key stakeholders to communicate the requirements of the scheme
  • Negotiating agreements to establish the relationships, roles and responsibilities between the parties
  • Leading negotiations and directing legal and technical support in developing critical commercial agreements, ensuring compliance with internal governance and ensuring agreements are acceptable to the HS2 Ltd. Board and Government
  • Petitions management while protecting the requirements of the scheme and achieving value for money.

Project and technical management

Our expert project and technical management services and advice for HS2 have included:

  • Technical interface engagement with key stakeholders including local authorities, Network Rail, train operating companies, Highways Agency, utilities companies and the Canal & Rivers Trust
  • Developing and managing the project execution plan including design, procurement, survey and construction work activities for the utilities programme
  • Managing professional consultants for design, engineering, railway systems and environmental work, including recruiting and building the HS2 utilities team
  • Overseeing the utility delivery team’s information management systems and commitments register, ensuring design and environmental mitigation is reflected.
  • Participating in decision-making panels, steering groups, design and environmental consultations, HS2 board meetings and representing the utility delivery team on HS2 programme and commercial committees.

Value Added

The programme for delivering the HS2 Phase 1 Hybrid Bill – the largest ever deposited in Parliament – was exceptionally challenging but it was deposited on time and accepted as compliant by the Commons Standing Orders Committee. Our highly experienced team were instrumental in achieving this target.

We advised HS2 on managing the entire parliamentary process and provided the design for a new directorate to manage this process. We also advised on necessary processes to manage the large number of petitions expected for the Hybrid Bill.

Our consents experience informed the negotiation with statutory bodies and was invaluable in reducing potential objections to the Hybrid Bill. We successfully negotiated key agreements with the main local authorities, Network Rail and Transport for London.