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Huppert warns of risk of opposing high speed rail project

October 14, 2011 11:21 AM

MP Julian Huppert has backed the government's high speed rail plans warning those opposing the project that they risk increased overcrowding on trains and delayed commuter services.

Julian spoke out during a debate in the House of Commons yesterday (Thursday, October 13) on the government's High Speed 2 project.

He said he was delighted the government was committed to high speed rail and a sustainable transport system fit for the 21st century was at the heart of the Liberal Democrat's 2010 election promises.

"We need increased capacity on our railways," he said. "Over the past 50 years, the length of our rail network has roughly halved, but since 1980 the number of passenger journeys has doubled. Quite predictably, that has fuelled overcrowding and led to eye-watering price hikes.

"The extra capacity that the HS2 project will provide is not a luxury; it is a cold, hard necessity that we cannot afford to ignore."

He warned those opposing the project that the risk a "disruptive and ineffective infrastructure programme" and delaying High Speed 2 by only a matter of years would result in the "inevitable construction of a second line through the country".

"High-speed rail will release huge amounts of capacity on existing lines: demand will no longer outstrip supply on parallel train routes," he added. "We need that capacity