The Institute of Directors (IoD), which represents the business community, has called for the government to extend the HS2 line to Heathrow Airport.
The chairman of 51m - an alliance of 18 local authorities opposed to HS2 - has warned that the project will not universally benefit train services:
He added that the line would "blight the lives, property and businesses of tens of thousands of people".
Network Rail has called the government's announcement of the HS2 extension a "game-changer" for Britain's railway network. Chief executive David Higgins said:
He added that Network Rail was already planning to ensure that HS2 would integrate with the existing network with as little disruption as possible.
Chancellor George Osborne said HS2 will be an "engine for growth" in the North and Midlands, and will create tens of thousands of jobs.
He acknowledged that communities along its route would face a "very difficult" disruption to their lives, but said the economic benefits were "pretty compelling". He told BBC Breakfast:
The head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has welcomed the announcement of the second phase of the HS2 rail network linking Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham:
The Government has announced that plans to extend the High Speed 2 rail network to Heathrow airport are "subject to the findings of the Airports Commission report".
Sir Howard Davies' review of future airport capacity is not due to give a final report until the summer of 2015.
The Department for Transport announced this morning that "HS2 will connect to Heathrow Airport from the first day that Phase One opens via a fast 11-minute Crossrail link at the new Old Oak Common station."
The second phase of the HS2 high speed rail network is still subject to a consultation, but this is what the government is proposing so far:
- Consultation to start this year
- Final route chosen by end of 2014
- Leeds to London journey time reduced from 1h28m to 41 minutes
- Manchester to London journey time reduced from 1h58m to 58 minutes
- Building could begin around 2025 with the line opening by 2033
Transport Secretary Maria Eagle spoke to ITV Daybreak about the next phase of the HS2 High Speed Rail route, which has just been unveiled.
HS2 was initially introduced by Labour, and Maria Eagle promised that if they were voted in next time, Labour would continue with these plans.
She added that the current Government however, was not moving fast enough: "So far all we've seen from this Government is a botched consultation on the first part to Birmingham, which they may have to re-run."