Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the HS2 line was "not an expensive luxury". Outlining the Bill at third reading, he said:
This is the point when the debate starts moving from 'if' to 'when'. Just this week with the storms that hit the south and the east, we have seen how crucial our railways are to national life. When trains are crowded and disrupted, life for hard-working people gets more difficult. That's why the new north south line isn't some expensive luxury.