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McLoughlin defends HS2

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin argued today that HS2 will provide a £15 billion boost to the UK economy annually. His comments came after the plans for the rail link were heavily criticised by the Public Accounts Committee.

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Campaign group: 'HS2 unnecessary waste of money'

A spokesman for HS2 Action Alliance said that the Government's "need for a political legacy" has overcome the need for an improvement of existing rail services. Richard Houghton said:

Much has been made of the potential disruptions of upgrades to the WCML but of course the major upgrades have been done and the required developments to release capacity would be tiny in comparison.

Indeed the disruption in converting a First Class carriage to a standard one, or from train lengthening is nothing compared to rebuilding Euston and having several platforms out of use for eight years that HS2 requires.

But this pragmatic unsexy approach doesn't fit with the need for a political legacy that is so clear in the Government's increasingly strident defence of this white elephant.

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