High speed rail route revealed

The routes of high speed rail links to cities in the north of England have been unveiled in a move that will cut journey times and what the Government hopes will act as an "engine for growth" for the economy.

Latest ITV News reports

Odds on that opening of HS2 will be delayed

A spokesman for Ladbrokes has said the firm is "not prepared to offer long odds" on the HS2 line being subject to delays, alterations and cancellations.

The bookmaker is currently offering 4/5 that there will be delays when it comes to the opening of the service.

The government expects to complete the first phase of the high speed route from London to Birmingham by 2026, with the Manchester and Leeds extension being finished by 2033.

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HS2 could bring 'poorer train service' for many

The chairman of 51m - an alliance of 18 local authorities opposed to HS2 - has warned that the project will not universally benefit train services:

Many towns and cities will be shocked to discover that they will actually receive a poorer train service if HS2 is built.

Stations such as Toton Sidings and Meadowhall are far from city centres.

West Coast Main Line and Midland Main Line services to many existing stations are certain to be reduced.

– Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council

He added that the line would "blight the lives, property and businesses of tens of thousands of people".

Read: Government's projected journey times in High Speed network

Simon Burns: HS2 will benefit entire transport system

The transport minister Simon Burns has said that the argument for HS2 is not "simply a question of shaving times off journeys" and that the whole transport system would benefit.

He told ITV News it would get "more freight off our roads onto rail" as well as increasing capacity in the wider rail network.

Referring to the opposition against building railways in the Victorian era and against the motorways of the 1950s and 60s, he said: "We now know from experience that this was the only way forward".

Transport minister: HS2 will benefit entire transport system

The transport minister Simon Burns has said that the argument for HS2 is not "simply a question of shaving times off journeys" and that the whole transport system would benefit.

He said it would get "more freight off our roads onto rail" as well as increasing capacity in the wider rail network.

Referring to the opposition against building railways in the Victorian era and against the motorways of the 1950s and 60s, he said: "We now know from experience that this was the only way forward".

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Network Rail: HS2 a 'game-changer' for rail travel

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.

– David Higgins, chief executive, network rail

He added that Network Rail was already planning to ensure that HS2 would integrate with the existing network with as little disruption as possible.

Rail watchdog: HS2 will free up space on existing routes

Passengers will welcome this latest news on HS2, which will radically increase space and new services for the North.

It could also lead to better connectivity between towns and cities - not just London routes. Almost as important is the space freed up on existing routes which will open up more new journey opportunities.

– Anthony Smith, chief executive, Passenger Focus

Conservative MPs react to HS2 extension

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#HS2 will cut journey times from London to Leeds to just 80 mins, free capacity & give huge boost to local economy https://t.co/xo25hToc

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Imagine what even a fraction of HS2 investment could do to transform cycling infrastructure &. with far greater benefits #GetBritainCycling

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Thousands of people waking up to blighted homes and businesses thanks to HS2 Is this a price worth paying ???

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