Laura Sharman 12 October 2016

Government pledges to press ahead with HS2

The Government has confirmed its commitment to pressing ahead with HS2, arguing a high speed railway is vital for boosting jobs and regeneration along the route.

Transport secretary, Chris Grayling has also announced £70m funding to improve road safety and support local communities between London and the West Midlands.

‘We need HS2 now more than ever,’ said Mr Grayling. ‘We’re facing a rapidly approaching crunch-point. In the last 20 years alone, the number of people travelling on our railways has more than doubled and our rail network is the most intensively used of any in Europe.’

The £70m is made up of three separate funds: the HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF), the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF), and the road safety fund.

The allocation of funding will be made by Cathy Elliott, the independent chair of the CEF and BLEF funds, following recommendations from MPs.

Ms Elliott said: ‘Allocation of the funds in this way allows communities to have an indication of the level of funding available while maintaining some flexibility to ensure that the overarching objective of the funds are met.

‘Allocating the funding on a regional level will allow the funding of larger schemes which are likely to deliver a long lasting legacy.’

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