HS2 – the planned high speed line connecting the North of England with High Speed One at Birmingham – is “visionary and exciting”, said Pendle-based Liberal Democrat peer Tony Greaves during the announcement in the House of Lords.
But he pointed out that it took the Victorians about 20 years to build most of the existing railway network while it was going to “take 20 years to build one and a half new lines now”.
He also asked whether “it is not time that people started to look at a long-term vision of high-speed rail in this country, extending from the North-east of Scotland to the South-west of England as well as routes to London?”
Speaking after the announcement, Tony Greaves said the good news is that the new proposals are the start of a network that will link into existing main lines further north and other rail services in the North of England, bringing benefits to many areas, not just those on the proposed route.
He said: “With regular services to Manchester from Burnley, HS2 will dramatically cut the time it takes to travel between East Lancashire and London.
“But it’s not just about going to London – we need to develop the vision of a high speed rail network throughout the country.”