Business Secretary Vince Cable has said there is a “compelling case” to speed up the extension of the controversial HS2 high-speed rail link to the cities of the north.
His intervention came as HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins prepared to outline his plan for an accelerated construction timetable while reducing the cost of the £50 billion infrastructure project.
Mr Cable, Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham, told The Observer: “Creating jobs outside London, and closing the gap between north and south, has been one of this Government's top priorities.
“On every visit I make to the north of England, I've heard businesses and council leaders make a compelling case for getting to the north more quickly by accelerating parts of the HS2 build."
He added: “That would ensure the economic benefits can be shared sooner by everyone around the country and deserves serious consideration by government."
Sir David, who will publish his report in Manchester on Monday, will issue an appeal to the main political parties to unite behind the scheme and is expected to recommend a completely new station at Euston - the site for the line's London terminus.
He is also expected to recommend scrapping plans to link HS2 with HS1, the London to Kent coast Channel Tunnel high-speed line.Reuse content