When HS2 Ltd announced the route for Phase 2b of the HS2 line into Leeds in November 2016, Alec announced his five-point plan to secure mitigation on the route through Elmet & Rothwell. One of those points related to how tennelling is to be carried out and how construction activity could avoid nearby villages by making use of brownfield land near to Leeds as a depot.
On 17th July Alec raised this matter directly to the Secretary of State in the House of Commons:
“May I say to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State that the jobs bonanza that will come with moving the depot to Stourton is hugely welcome to Leeds, the Aire valley and my constituents? On the conversation that I had with the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, my hon. Friend the Member for Harrogate and Knaresborough (Andrew Jones), and on the tunnelling that will take place under Woodlesford, has the Secretary of State given consideration to the site on which the depot will sit? Has he considered putting all the tunnelling equipment and the spoil on brownfield land, so as to minimise the disruption to my villages of Woodlesford and Oulton, and the traffic around them, during construction?”
The Secretary of State replied:
“My hon. Friend makes an interesting suggestion that I will pass on to the HS2 team. I am very glad that he supports this alternative site; I think it is the right one, and that people further south will welcome the decision. I have sought, having visited all the route, ways of minimising the impact, but as I said earlier, there are inevitably consequences of a project on this scale.”