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HS2 boss backs line north of Birmingham

A new high speed rail network should serve cities along both the east and west of the UK, a senior government advisor revealed this week.

High Speed 2 (HS2) chairman Sir David Rowlands told the BBC that a spur north of Birmingham would allow both sides of the country to be served.

“We will tell the government that the preferred option from our point of view is a network that certainly serves Manchester as well as places like Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds and up to Newcastle and, one way or another, up to Scotland,” he said.

The government set up HS2 earlier this year to investigate the case for new lines from London to Scotland but this is the first indication of a preferred route north of Birmingham.

It most closely resembles the proposal of pressure group Greengauge 21 which involves the development of twin east and west high speed rail lines from London to Scotland at a projected cost of £69bn.

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