Government reveals more on HS2

The Government will reveal more details about progress with the proposed high speed rail link between London and the north.

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  1. National

HS2 will be the 'new backbone of Britain'

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has backed the controversial HS2 scheme, insisting it will become the new "backbone of Britain".

Opponents of the scheme, who believe the project is a waste of money and should be scrapped, seized on an official report published today which revealed that the estimated economic benefits of the £50 billion project are falling.

However, Mr McLoughlin argued the line was not "some expensive add-on" but a scheme which would help people with their daily lives.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has backed the controversial HS2 rail scheme.

Speaking at the National Rail Conference in Manchester, the MP said:

"As the impact of this week’s storm in the south shows, when trains are crowded and disrupted, life for hardworking people gets more difficult. That’s why the new north-south line isn’t some expensive add on. It’s about helping people with their daily lives.

"It’s needed to help commuters who now have to stand - and will soon have to queue - to get on their trains. It’s needed to help the cities of the north which want to compete on equal terms with London. It will be the new backbone of Britain."

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  1. National

Labour urges 'no blank cheque' for HS2 rail project

Shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh reiterated Labour's position that there can be "no blank cheque" for the HS2 rail project.

Ms Creagh said:

We must address the capacity problems that mean thousands of commuters face cramped, miserable journeys into cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and London.

But there can be no blank cheque and ministers must get a grip on costs.

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