1. ITV Report

Transport Secretary: HS2 will go ahead

Artists impression on how trains could look on the High Speed Rail route Photo: HS2 Ltd

The High Speed Rail link between London and the Midlands will go ahead according to the Transport Secretary and Derbyshire Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin.

He said the Government won't be put off by campaigners who oppose the project, which Mr McLoughlin says he plans to fast-track through parliament.

The Transport Secretary told The Independent newspaper that he hoped to work with the Labour party to reach a cross-party consensus on legislation to be included in the next Queen's speech and taken through parliament before the next general election.

He said:

The easiest thing for any government to do on a project the size of HS2 is to say we are not doing it.

"All we get is grief. All we get is hassle. But one of the things that government have got to try and do is look to the long term future.

"Whichever route we are going to put it on we are going to upset people."

– Patrick McLoughlin MP, Transport Secretary

The first phase of the planned route will travel through London up through the Midlands to Birmingham.

A further 'Y' shaped branch line could travel north to Manchester and also fork off into the East Midlands, but these routes are yet to be confirmed.

In December a number of groups opposing the £33 billion High Speed route from London to Birmingham. including nine Midlands councils, will take the Government to the High Court.

The action is being brought against the Government by a group called 51m, which claims the decision to press on with the building of the line was made unlawfully.

The Department for Transport has always maintained the consultation process and its decision to build the line was done properly and fairly.

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