Transport Secretary sounds warning to HS2 protesters

Transport Secretary sounds warning to HS2 protesters

12 Sep 2012

Newly-appointed Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said that ministerial changes will not alter the Government’s future plans for Britain’s transport network.

Speaking in front of the Transport Select Committee for the first time, McLoughlin pledged his support to HS2 and said that he hoped to publish the preferred route of Phase 2 of the project by the end of the year.

When quizzed about the West Coast franchise, McLoughlin confirmed that the Government would be forced to nationalise the route if legal proceedings had not concluded by the December 9 handover date.

The new Secretary of State added that he felt the bids had both been properly assessed and that due diligence was done by the department.

“I think Richard Branson has made a fantastic contribution to the railways in this country and I’m sorry that we’re in a disagreement with him.

“We are determined to press ahead with the award that we have made but obviously we have to act within the law.”

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