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Sunday, March 16, 2014

The case for HS2

For those of us who support the concept of a high speed rail link between London and the north of England, Vince Cable's plea in today's Independent to speed up the implementation of HS2 makes a great deal of sense.

The paper reports that the Secretary of State for Business believes that there is a compelling case for bringing the project forward:

Mr Cable, Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham, told The Observer: “Creating jobs outside London, and closing the gap between north and south, has been one of this Government's top priorities.

“On every visit I make to the north of England, I've heard businesses and council leaders make a compelling case for getting to the north more quickly by accelerating parts of the HS2 build."

He added: “That would ensure the economic benefits can be shared sooner by everyone around the country and deserves serious consideration by government."

A report from HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins will be published on Monday and is expected to outline his plan for an accelerated construction timetable while reducing the cost of the £50 billion infrastructure project.

The paper says that Sir David will issue an appeal to the main political parties to unite behind the scheme and is expected to recommend a completely new station at Euston - the site for the line's London terminus.

He is also expected to recommend scrapping plans to link HS2 with HS1, the London to Kent coast Channel Tunnel high-speed line.
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