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.
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:
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:
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.
Is Network Rail's multi-billion plan for rail expansion good news for the North West?Read the full story ›
Preston bus station could be demolished after councillors in the city voted in principle to tear it down.
But before it is bulldozed, they want another report on the cost of saving it.
It costs the city council around £300,000 a year to keep it running, which it says it can no longer afford.
An initial report by Lancashire County Council found refurbishing it would cost between £17m and £23m.
Now the city council will appoint its own consultants to get another estimate for refurbishment.
Preston bus station is set to be demolished after town hall buses say they can't afford to pay £300,000 a year to keep it open.
The city council said taxpayer's money would be better spent knocking it down and building a more modern facility.
Councillors will make the decision on December 17.
Councillors are set to approve the demolition of Preston bus station.Read the full story ›