I am delighted to be taking up this role. Working at Network Rail I know the challenges we have ahead with capacity on the railways - they are real and we need to take action now. I also know the significant benefits that improved journey times between our northern cities will bring not just to the north, but the UK economy as a whole.
HS2 is the right solution. It is vital for both passengers and the economy and will put the UK in a different league in terms of infrastructure. My first priority will be to rigorously scrutinise costs to ensure they remain under control.
HS2 presents a strategic opportunity for this country and I am determined to make sure we take it by delivering a railway that will allow business and communities to prosper in the long term
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