HS2 'needed as network will be full by mid-2020s'

The HS2 high-speed railway project is needed because without it, the existing rail network will be "full by the mid-2020s", the Department for Transport said today, after the Institute of Directors slammed the initiative.

A train passes through Church Fenton, North Yorkshire where it is proposed the HS2 railway will link with the East Coast Mainline. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

A spokeswoman said: "The scheme is forecast to generate over £50 billion of benefits for the UK economy but we know we must maximise every economic benefit HS2 has to offer.

"That is why the HS2 Growth Taskforce was created, headed up by Lord Deighton, to work with city and business leaders to ensure we are capitalising on every opportunity to help regeneration, job creation, investment opportunities and in building a skilled UK economy."

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Business chiefs slam HS2 'folly'

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has joined those calling for HS2 to be scrapped, branding the £50 billion high-speed rail project "a grand folly". A survey of IoD members found that just 27% feel HS2 represents good value for money.