Transport Committee backs High Speed Rail
Published by Simon Gwynn on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:11
The Government's HS2 High Speed Rail plan has been backed by the House of Commons Transport Committee following its inquiry into the £34 billion project.
The committee said there was a "good case" for HS2 which would feature 250mph, 1100-passenger trains running from London to Birmingham and on to north-east and north-west England and then to Scotland.
HS2 would run through picturesque Tory heartlands in its first phase from London to Birmingham - bringing protests from some residents, - with the Government due to make a decision on the route before the end of this year.
The committee's report said: "We have pointed to a number of areas we believe need to be addressed in the course of progressing HS2. We call on the Government to consider and to clarify these matters before it reaches its decision on HS2."
The report added: "Unlike policies for major roads and airports, this proposal has all-party support. It is not, however, universally supported by all MPs or the public. We acknowledge the deeply held and often well-informed views on both sides of the debate."
Glasgow Chamber chief executive Stuart Patrick said: "This is a positive step, and it is crucial that HSR reaches north of the Border as soon as possible. Fast links to the major English cities are vital for the maintenance and strengthening of our economy. For instance, good connectivity is essential for Glasgow as a major UK business centre and top tier visitor destination.
"HSR would also help relieve the excess demand currently being experienced on the West Coast Main Line, and there is no doubt that this demand will rise even further in the future."