Thank you for contacting me about HS2.
I am sure that you have heard that HS2 Act recently received Royal Assent. This paves the way for a new railway line that will increase capacity on our railways, connect the biggest cities, and generate jobs and economic growth.
This is a vital project for the UK, which will not only promote economic growth, but also drive regional regeneration and support job creation. HS2 is supported by all the major conurbations that it will serve, as they recognise the key benefits that it will bring to their areas. It will provide the capacity we need by trebling the number of seats into London Euston in the peak, with up to 18 trains an hour running in each direction. Estimates suggest that, for every £1 invested in the project, the UK economy will receive over £2.50 in benefits. The construction alone will create around 25,000 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships.
You may be interested to know that the Transport Secretary recently announced £70 million of funding to support local communities and road safety along the Phase One route, between London and the West Midlands. Among other things, this money will help enhance community facilities, improve access to the countryside, and support local economies where businesses may experience disruption from the construction of HS2.
I would also emphasise that this is only one part of the Government's ambitious programme for improving the UK's infrastructure, and will not come at the cost of other transport investments. The 2015 Spending Review provided a total HS2 budget of around £15 billion over the next five years. This equates to less than 20 per cent of the Department for Transport budgets including Network Rail expenditure over the same period.