A few people have forwarded a campaign email to me which asks me not to support HS2. However, I remain supportive of the project.

I am of the opinion that HS2 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 more capacity by trebling the number of seats into London Euston in the peak times, 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.

The Department for Transport did assess the potential alternatives to HS2. The study concluded that the alternatives did not provide sufficient additional capacity to meet long-term needs and failed to provide the same level of connectivity benefits.

HS2 Ltd has sought to design HS2 to avoid environmental impacts, including those on ancient woodlands, wherever reasonably practicable. Where this is not possible, I have been assured that mitigation or compensation measures will be undertaken.

I would also like to emphasise that HS2 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 investment.

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