Transport: High speed rail plan still on track

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A Labour MP called on the Government today to confirm its High Speed 2 rail plans are still on track.

Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North and Leith) asked Transport Secretary Justine Greening to affirm whether the controversial £32 billion scheme still has the backing of David Cameron and George Osborne.

Ms Greening announced to MPs in January that she was giving the green light to the ambitious project, which would be built in two phases - the London to Birmingham line and then extensions to Manchester and Leeds to form a Y-shaped network.

Ms Greening maintained the plans were “absolutely vital” to the country’s long-term success.

Speaking during Commons transport questions, Mr Lazarowicz said: “Will the Secretary of State agree that one of the best ways of ending the uncertainty is to reach a quick decision?

“Would the Secretary of State confirm the Government will be bringing forward legislation for HS2 in the current Parliament and that she continues to have the full support of the Chancellor and Prime Minister in bringing forward HS2 ... not just for England but for Scotland as well.”

Ms Greening replied: “The short answer to his question is yes. We are planning to introduce a hybrid Bill. I think it’s absolutely vital for the long-term success of this country.”