Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted HS2 will be "crucial for our country" as he marked the project's formal beginning of construction.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that more people are working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic but claimed transport networks will be critical for many years.


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Speaking at a "shovels in the ground" event in Solihull, West Midlands, Mr Johnson said: "I think loads of people have had the benefit of working from home.

"It's been magnificent and it's definitely enhanced people's quality of life in many, many ways and I congratulate people on the hard work they've put in from home.

"But I've got absolutely no doubt that mass transit transport infrastructure is going to be crucial for our country, not just now, but in the decades ahead.

"This incredible project is going to be delivering 22,000 jobs now, but tens of thousands more high-skilled jobs in the decades ahead, linking Birmingham, eight miles away there, to London, just 38 minutes behind me when HS2 is built."

He added: "Transport connectivity is at the heart of the build back better, build back faster and build back greener recovery."