Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin gave this statement after MPs voted in favour for work to being on HS2 in 2017:
By voting in favour of the hybrid Bill, Parliament has made a clear commitment to a key part of the government’s long term economic plan. HS2 is a once in a generation opportunity to create jobs and develop skills, provide the extra space we need on our rail network for commuters and freight and better connect our biggest cities.
I am aware of the concerns some who live very close to the HS2 route have. I am confident however that by working together we can ensure this vital new north-south railway is designed in the right way, and we will have spades in the ground in 2017 as planned.
More top news
Two 18 year olds have been charged with GBH after a stabbing in Gravesend earlier this month
A one year old spaniel was close to death when she was found abandoned in a field in Kent. She'd been thrown over a six foot wall.
Philippa has Sunday's weather forecast for the east