1. ITV Report

Transport Secretary tells rail industry experts in Derby that biggest benefit of HS2 will be increased capacity

The Transport Secretary Photo: PA

The Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has told a gathering of rail industry experts in Derby that the biggest benefit of HS2 will be increased capacity.

Mr McLoughlin, who is the Conservative MP for Derbyshire Dales, was addressing the Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum.

Transport Secretary addressing the rail forum Credit: ITV News

He said the new high speed rail line will cut journey times between the Midlands and London and the North, but the main advantage would be in tackling overcrowding on our trains.

The Secretary of State also defended the choice of Toton for the site of a new HS2 station serving the East Midlands. He said it would serve the region well.

On franchising, he admitted his department had made "some very serious mistakes" over the West Coast mainline contract. But he said he had taken action to put things right.

He also announced his intention to prove Sunday rail services, after revealing he regularly travels by train on Sundays.