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Julian Huppert MP writes… Liberal Democrats have convinced other parties about High Speed Rail

January 13, 2012 10:08 AM

• [Jan 10] Julian Huppert writes: TODAY'S announcement that the Government will go ahead with HS2 is a huge win for the Liberal Democrats, the first UK party to commit itself to a national high speed railway.

Back in 2004 we announced ambitious plans for the UK's first high speed network. We argued that faster train lines would reduce carbon emissions in the long-term and ensure a reliable train service available to all.

In contrast it took Labour 13 years of Government to announce their commitment to a high speed network, conveniently not in time to actually start doing anything about it. And while the Conservative commitment to high speed rail should be applauded, we should never forget that the Liberal Democrats were the earliest and most radical proponents.

. . High Speed rail is not just about cutting journey times by 30, 60 or even 90 minutes. Liberal Democrats believe that public transport should be sustainable, reliable and available to all, and the only way we can achieve this is through an effective railway network that serves the country as a whole. For me, high speed rail is the only option which will allow us to meet all of those criteria. There is still more to do of course, and we must keep the pressure up for further stages that go further north, as far as Scotland.

Liberal Democrats were convinced of these arguments in 2004, we're convinced of them now and, for an added bonus, we've convinced the other parties too.

• Julian Huppert MP writes… Liberal Democrats have convinced other parties about High Speed Rail [LDV Jan 10]