15:33 28 January 2013
The government has announced on Monday their latest plans for a high-speed rail line connecting northern England to London. This marks the second phase of the plans for the HS2 rail route, which aims to see faster trains travelling between London and Manchester, as well as Leeds.
With the announcement the government also admitted that the plans may not please everyone, although they say it is the right move for the country.
The route would become the first to be built outside of London for the first time in well over a century, and the trains could be as fast as 250mph. If the link goes ahead the train journeys to the north could be made faster by 2032.
The new line, which would be a 350mile route overall, will cost £32billion and it could be seen by some as a bid to merge the north-south divide. It is thought the first phase of the plans would be completed by 2026, with the line then leading from Birmingham to the North.
Along the way five new stations would be built in places such as Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds. With the high-speed HS2 rail route, thousands of jobs would also be created.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Linking communities and businesses across the country and shrinking the distances between our greatest cities, High Speed Rail is an engine for growth that will help to drive regional regeneration and invigorate our regional economies.”
The PM added: “High Speed Rail is a catalyst that will help to secure economic prosperity across Britain, rebalance our economy and support tens of thousands of jobs.”
Although the plans are not welcomed by all. Critics are concerned that the countryside would be affected as a result of the new rail line. Not only that, some people are worried about the effect the link will have on residents of towns and villages in certain areas.
The Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “You are going to upset a number of people because the route will go through their area and that will be annoying for them and you will get opposition to it.”
Part one of the plans, which would link London to Birmingham, are already set to be considered by the High Court. This follows campaigners voicing their concerns, according to reports.
The plans for the new high-speed rail route look to be completed by 2015.
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