Julian Huppert, Co-chair of the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party committee on transport, comments on high speed rail:
“This is excellent news. The Liberal Democrats were the first party to call for the high speed rail link – as far back as 2004. It will make life easier for passengers and bring huge benefits to the country as a whole, generating economic growth and creating jobs.
“This project will also improve national capacity for rail freight. Finally rail can be seen as a realistic alternative to the road for moving freight. This has the potential to take heavy goods vehicles off our major routes, easing congestion and cutting carbon emissions.
“This project will also improve connections further north and up to Scotland, so it is important that the Government starts planning for the next phases soon.
“HS2 promises to bring future economic trade and prosperity and even this first stage will go a long way to solving the north/south divide.”