- 15 updates
A spokesman for HS2 Action Alliance said that the Government's "need for a political legacy" has overcome the need for an improvement of existing rail services. Richard Houghton said:
Transport Secretary Patrick McGloughlin today said HS2 will "deliver growth and jobs across the country".
At a speech at the Institute of Civil Engineers he responded to backlash earlier this week that the train will take business away from the regions.
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."
Campaign group Stop HS2 has argued that the Government's figures on HS2, which say the train will provide a £15 billion boost to the economy, are flawed.
Stop HS2 Campaign Manager, Joe Rukin said:
The Department for Transport has been tweeting extracts from Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin's speech about the HS2 high-speed rail project:
The former Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan, whose Chesham and Amersham constituency would be affected by the HS2 rail link, has criticised the Government for needing to launch a "fightback" on the issue:
The benefits of HS2 will outweigh "the sad decisions" needed to construct a rail link from London to the north, a transport minister has said.
Simon Burns accepted "some individuals, some houses" would be affected but looked to the success of HS1, which runs through Kent, as a good reason to push ahead with the controversial project.
Latest ITV News reports
The Government launched a "fightback" today over controversial plans for the HS2 rail link promising a £15 billion boost to the economy.
The Prime Minister and Transport Secretary have launched what they refer to as a "fightback" over the HS2 high-speed rail project.