To ask the Secretary of State for Transport
(1) with reference to her Department's publication 2012 Economic Case for HS2 for what reason the projected London to Liverpool high speed rail journey times have increased compared to her 2011 consultation on high speed rail;
(2) for what reason she has altered the service specification assumptions for the high speed rail network in her January 2012 revision to the Economic Case for HS2; and why this has resulted in (a) reduced high speed services (i) between Preston and London and (ii) between York and Darlington and (b) the removal of HS2 services to Warrington and Wigan.
Indicative service specifications for the HS2 network have been prepared by HS2 Ltd for the purpose of understanding the potential benefits of HS2, for inclusion in the economic case for the project. As the document made clear, these specifications are purely illustrative. Final decisions on service specifications will be taken considerably nearer the opening of the network by a network operator based upon the latest patterns of demand and in consultation with the towns and cities served.
I anticipate that HS2 will generate significant journey time savings not only for the key cities already identified on the network but also a range of other destinations through classic compatible running and other means. HS2 will bring great benefits to the regions served and I look forward to working with them to ensure that all the possible benefits are maximised.