‘It’s impossible not to see the benefits these projects can bring,’ Transport Secretary Justine Greening told the House of Commons Transport Committee.
Ms Greening, who took over from Philip Hammond last Friday (October 14), also indicated the date for a decision on HS2 would not be delayed from December.
She said High Speed Rail would address the North-South divide and pointed to the great benefits it had brought to France.
“If we look at existing infrastructure and projected growth of passengers over the next three decades, we can see them all doubling.
“When you look at the benefits high speed rail has brought to other countries (in Europe) it’s impossible not to see the benefits these projects can bring.”
Ms Greening promised she would not approach HS2 in an emotional way, but ‘a rational, sensible one.’
“I think we’re absolutely right to look at the benefits high-speed rail can bring to the economy – not just in the long term with the north-south divide, but in the short term with the 40,000 jobs it can bring,” she added.
“But I would like to take this opportunity to recognise how important this decision is.
“This government, like the last one, sees the huge potential in high speed rail but I also recognise there are some concerns in local communities. I will take great care in looking at this over the next few months.”
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