Is Network Rail's multi-billion plan for rail expansion good news for the North West?
Councillors are set to approve the demolition of Preston bus station.
A report out today claims taxpayers face a 'significant' bill following a government U-turn over who operates trains in our region.
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."
Transport Secretary says that the HS2 will be first main line north of London for nearly 120 years.
Patrick McLoughlin has told the House of Commons that it is not just about faster trains to London - but about how our greatest cities are linked.
Mr McLoughlin said he is determined that HS2 benefits will be spread much wider than just those places served by the line.
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:
– Prime Minister David Cameron
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.
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:
– David Higgins, chief executive, network rail
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.
He added that Network Rail was already planning to ensure that HS2 would integrate with the existing network with as little disruption as possible.
The chief executive of Manchester Airport owner MAG, Charlie Cornish, has welcomed the news that the HS2 route will stop off at the airport.
"Along with the city centre station, it will provide an additional boost to the economy of the region.”
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:
– Chancellor George Osborne
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.
The Department for Transport have released a video detailing the HS2 route along with estimated journey times.
The company formerly known as BAA is to sell Stansted airport to the Manchester Airports group for £1.5 billion.
The deal, announced late this evening, will mean that BAA - now known as Heathrow Airport Holdings - will be responsible for just four UK airports compared with its original seven.
The remaining ones are Heathrow, Southampton, Aberdeen and Glasgow.