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High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:59 pm on 26th June 2013.

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Photo of Andrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen Conservative, North West Leicestershire 4:59 pm, 26th June 2013

I thank my right hon. Friend for that intervention. She is absolutely right, and I shall deal with the issue of capacity later in my speech.

The cost-benefit ratios are questionable. As has already been pointed out, the assumption is that all time spent on trains is wasted time, so the figures are based on the extraordinary idea that when someone goes on a train they do not do any work. Anyone who travels on our railways will know that that is certainly not the case. It should also be noted that, compared to our European neighbours, journey times between first and second cities are considerably shorter in the UK. The journey time between Birmingham and London is already half that of high-speed rail travel in France and Spain.