Transport Secretary backs HS2

The Transport Secretary is expected to argue the economic case for the proposed High Speed Two rail route through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

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Government fights back over HS2

It's had a rough ride from the start with opponents to the High Speed 2 rail link calling the 50 billion pound project a white elephant. And just this week a parliamentary report called for the line to be abandoned.

But today the Prime Minister launched what he called the "fightback" by the government over the scheme. Phase One of HS2 would cut through environmentally sensitive parts of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryside linking London with the midlands.

And today a report was released claiming the project would boost Britain's economy by 15 billion pounds a year.

Mel Bloor speaks to Elaine Ainsworth, a Practice nurse at Mandeville Surgery, Rebecca Struckmyre, who has asthma, Transport Secretary Patrick Mc Loughlin MP and Transport Minister Simon Burns MP.

HS2: "Controversy means we are doing something that really matters"

Video: The Transport Secretary has argued the economic case for the proposed High Speed Two rail route through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Patrick McLoughlin insists without HS2 key rail routes would be "overwhelmed" by rising passenger numbers. But, earlier this week, the Public Accounts Committee said it would cost more than originally estimated and wouldn't bring the promised economic benefits.

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Transport Secretary defends controversial HS2 project

The Transport Secretary has defended the controversial HS2 high-speed rail project which has come under criticism from campaigners, Labour, and the public accounts committee.

Patrick McLoughlin said: "Any big major infrastructure project like this will led to criticism, of course it will. you're not going to build 350 miles of new railway and not have criticism.

"There is a sceptism with government ministers promising a glorious future which is some way a way down the line, unless we make these type of decisions now we don't get it."

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McLoughlin: High-speed rail not some untested fantasy

The Department for Transport has been tweeting extracts from Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin's speech about the HS2 high-speed rail project:

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HS2 the 'bypass' for Britain's 'clogged' transport system

Britain's transport system will become "clogged" without HS2 and suffer under swelling passenger numbers, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will say in a speech later today.

The reason we need HS2 isn't for its speed, though speed is obviously a benefit. HS2 will allow you to get from Birmingham to Leeds in 57 minutes and from Manchester to London in 68.

The benefits of faster journeys are easy to explain. But speed is not the main reason for building the new railway.

The main reason we need HS2 is as a heart bypass for the clogged arteries of our transport system

– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin

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