13 December 2013

Mick said: ‘We are delighted that MPs on the select committee have come out in favour of HS2. And we are even more pleased that they have said serious consideration should be given to building the two phases at the same time and meeting in the middle.

‘Because that’s what we have been calling for here at ASLEF. Of course, as train drivers, we have a vested interest in a successful, integrated, and modern railway network. But that’s because we know that a better railway means a better Britain.

‘We believe Britain needs not only a new high speed rail line but a high speed rail network and we would, ideally, like to see HS2 run the length of the United Kingdom, being built from Scotland and the south at the same time, meeting in the middle, linking HS1 and going via Heathrow.

‘While that is not what is on the table, and in the Bill, we welcome the proposal even if it doesn’t go far enough. It’s a major infrastructure project which will help bring Britain out of recession. And a project which will help bring our railway into the 21st century.

‘The number of passengers on our railways has doubled since 1995 while rail freight traffic has risen by 65% over the same period. The existing rail network is operating at near full capacity and neither new motorways nor domestic air travel are environmentally sustainable options to meet the mobility requirements of a British population expected to grow by 10 million by 2033.’

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