The north will face a "lost decade of growth" if recommendations to extend the early phase of HS2 are not accepted by politicians, a major rail union says.
Following Sir David Higgins' call to extend phase one of the project to Crewe, TSSA leader Manuel Cortes said: "Sir David is absolutely right - we cannot, as a country, take the slow line to a high-speed rail future.
"We need to make sure that the north benefits as quickly as the Midlands and the South from this huge investment.
The alternative, he said, is a "lost decade of growth while the South East powers ahead of the rest of the country with the lion's share of the budget".
"The £50 billion investment must benefit the whole country if it is to help re-balance the economy," Mr Cortes added.
HS2 link requires too many compromises in terms of impacts on freight, passengers and the community in Camden, says Transport Secretary.
Despite pledging to find savings in the expensive High Speed 2 train line, the project's boss has failed to find significant financial cuts.