I know that my hon. Friend also feels strongly about this project, but I remind him that HS2’s purpose is to deliver additional capacity in our transport system. It will create the opportunity to double the number of peak-time seats into Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham, and there will be a huge increase into London Euston. It will provide the opportunity for more freight to move off the roads and on to rail. That is what this is all about.
I have heard a lot over the past 24 hours about numbers. The project has a budget of £55.7 billion. This country has a decent track record of late of delivering projects on time and on budget, and I am confident that that is what will happen this time. As far as I can see, those who appear to be telling a different story have no involvement in the project and little direct knowledge of it.