Consultation is drawing to a close on the route the government's proposed high-speed train line will take in the North West.HS2 will mean shorter journeys between the region and London.
MPs Simon Danczuk, Mark Hunter and Jake Berry discuss the scheme on tonight's Party People at 11.35pm on ITV.Our correspondent Andy Bonner has been to meet the company with the job of selling HS2 to the undecided.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said that those who need to sell their house but struggle because of the HS2 plans will still be helped and that he wants the line, "to create jobs and prosperity not to harm it."
"I understand how proposals like this can affect the property markets so compensation will be as generous as on the first phase, and more generous then when we built the motorways."
The Prime Minister says the money to pay for HS2 will need to come from 'a balance' between the Government and 'the train user' - but expensive tickets are necessary for 'Britain to be a success'. See the full interview above.
David Cameron was resolute when asked about Tory opposition to the HS2 project: "This is going to happen. I have been a strong supporter right from the start." The Prime Minister continued:
These are difficult economic times, but I think that is precisely the time you should be planning for the future, working out how we link up the cities of our country, how we reduce journey times, how we spread wealth and prosperity around the country.
We do need to rebalance the economy, it has been too dominated by the South and by certain industries and high speed rail will really help to create a better balanced economy.
Unprecedented growth in the last ten years has seen passenger journeys grow by 50 per cent to almost 1.5bn a year and that number is set to continue to grow. More people use the railways today than at any time since the Second World War, on a network half the size it was then ...
This is a rare chance to stop playing catch-up on capacity.
– David Higgins, chief executive, network rail
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:
I think it is the engine for growth in the North and the Midlands of this country. I think it is going to create tens of thousands of jobs in Manchester and across our great cities.
In the end, as a country, you have got to make those long-term choices. If our predecessors hadn't decided to build the railways in the Victorian times or the motorways in the middle part of the 20th century, then we wouldn't have those things today.