I will quickly bring my remarks to a close.
The other massive benefit of high-speed rail will be to the economy. I rarely agree with Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester city council, but I think that he was spot on when he said:
"The two major challenges facing our next government will be the economy and the environment. A far-reaching high speed rail network that serves the main economic hubs of the UK will help to succeed in both of these areas."