By Maximilian Clarke

The transport select committee of MPs have today lent their support to the high speed 2 (HS2) rail link from London to Birmingham and beyond, hailing it as a much needed investment in the country’s infrastructure yielding long-term benefits.

Opponents of the scheme have questioned whether the quoted £32bn- which is widely expected to balloon beyond initial estimates- will achieve the economic benefits intended. The free market think-tank, the Adam Smith Institute, concluded after a report that the scheme would effectively be a waste of money.

But the transport select committee found the scheme, beyond local campaign groups and ‘nimbys’, has ‘all- party’ support, and will stimulate long term economic development away from London.

We support a high-speed rail network for Britain, developed as part of a comprehensive transport strategy also including the classic rail network, road, aviation and shipping. We believe that the Government's HS2 proposal could form part of this network and provide substantial improvements in capacity and connectivity for inter-urban travel between our major cities. Furthermore, the released capacity on the classic rail network would also enable widespread improvements on local and regional rail services.

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