High-speed Rail

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 8th December 2009.

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Photo of Greg Mulholland Greg Mulholland Shadow Minister (Health) 11:00 am, 8th December 2009

The hon. Gentleman makes an interesting point. Network Rail's report was odd in that it did not make a strong case for its proposals apart from saying that the high-speed lines will deal with the greatest need-current capacity-rather than giving genuine economic benefits.

One interesting thing about the Network Rail report is that, like other studies, it firmly states that is not realistic or cost-effective to have an S shape. It seems that the Department for Transport and High Speed 2 are leaning towards going from Manchester to Leeds. However, the time that it would take to get from London to Leeds via Manchester would make it economically unviable. I challenge Stephen Hammond, who speaks for the Opposition. Conservative party policy seems to be for high-speed rail to Manchester and then to Leeds, yet the engineers say that that would not make economic sense.

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