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High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:13 pm on 26th June 2013.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Shadow Secretary of State for Transport 3:13 pm, 26th June 2013

That is an important point. Such action could, indeed, lead to other benefits, if it meant that matters were settled earlier than they would otherwise have been. I believe that some European countries do as my hon. Friend suggests, and end up building their lines rather more quickly than we seem to manage to.

Ministers must now engage in a debate about the eventual cost of using the new north-south line, because that goes to the heart of the question of what kind of railway we believe in. There have been fears about the issue ever since the former Transport Secretary, Mr Hammond, started talking about rich men’s toys.