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Transport Secretary tired of HS2 'moaning'
TRANSPORT secretary Patrick McLoughlin called on people to stop moaning about the HS2 rail link, saying it will be an 'essential heart bypass' for Britain's clogged train network.
The Secretary of State for Transport used this week's Conservative Party conference to reiterate how important creating the new line would be.
HS2 is set to be built through the heart of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and currently has a budget of just over £42billion, which critics fear could continue to rise.
At last week's Labour conference Mr McLoughlin's Shadow Ed Balls said the line would not be built at any cost if his party - which first put forward the plans - won the next General Election.
But today Mr McLoughlin said: "The reason we need the line is as an essential heart bypass for the clogged arteries of our transport system. Because our current rail system is almost full - there just isn’t the space we need for the future
"The new line will make more room for freight on rail and take the strain off our roads. And it will have the same capacity as a new twelve lane motorway.
"Now I promise you - I hear the critics. Boy, do I hear the critics. But the truth is we need a new north-south line to make our country stronger. I am tired of the moaning from London commentators who are pleased enough about billions of essential investment in Crossrail but can’t understand why the rest of the country needs great transport too.
"Today you can get a high speed train from London into the heart of Europe in Brussels but not to the great city of Birmingham.
"You can go direct to Lille – but not the great city of Leeds. All the way to the Alps if you want – but not here to the great city of Manchester. That is bad for our nation and it has got to change.
"And as we do it we will squeeze every penny of economic benefit out of the line and cut down on costs."
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