I have received a number of emails about HS2.
I support the construction of HS2, which I believe would increase capacity on our rail network, better connect the biggest cities, and generate jobs and economic growth.
Britain's railways require additional capacity and I believe that HS2 represents the most effective way of both alleviating pressure on the current network and ensuring capacity growth. With destinations including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Crewe, HS2 is expected to relieve the East and West Coast mainlines of congestion by offering fast, direct services between major cities on new and improved lines.
HS2 would also drive regional regeneration and support job creation. It is supported by all the major conurbations that it will serve as they recognise the key benefits that it will bring to their areas.
However, infrastructure projects which involve significant amounts of taxpayer funding should be subject to continuous assessment, particularly with regard to costs and benefits. I am therefore pleased that the former HS2 and Crossrail Chairman, Douglas Oakervee, has been asked to carry out an independent review into the HS2 project. The review will consider HS2's benefits and impacts, affordability and efficiency, deliverability and scope, as well as it's phasing and relationship with Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The review will offer clear advice on HS2 to the Government in the autumn, informing how the project proceeds. It is important to note that in the meantime, limited work on the project will continue.