‘London to Scotland in less than three hours’ as Transport Secretary maps out high speed rail plans
TRAIN journeys from London to Scotland could be cut to under three hours, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has claimed.
• Transport Secretary: Aim to connect Scotland with high speed rail network
• Journey times between Scotland and London would be less than three hours
The £34 billion High Speed 2 scheme to northern England could be extended over the border, slashing times by about an hour.
But the project is mired in controversy for the Tory party, with parts of the line cutting through swathes of countryside in Conservative heartlands.
Mr McLoughlin promised compensation for people affected but insisted the massive scheme should go ahead.
“I hear those voices who say High Speed 2 is too costly, who say we can muddle through, and yes, the easy option would be to do nothing. It always is. But my answer is that we can’t afford not to build it; our competitors around the world are investing in the best transport, and we must too,” he said.
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, he claimed that “no big infrastructure project is ever done without great controversy”, adding: “Once they are built, people rely on them.”
He said officials would investigate extending the high speed line, initially planned from London to Birmingham with later stages to Leeds and Manchester, north of the border.
“We’re launching a study on the way to get fast journeys further north still, with the aim of getting the journey from Scotland to London to under three hours and making sure the North East benefits too, because this will be a scheme for every person in Britain.”
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