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HS2 earns final approval

HS2 earns final approval

The contentious proposal for a multibillion-pound high-speed railway line through England has been given the green light.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening admitted concessions had to be made to "appease" opponents of the project, known as HS2, meaning more tunnels will be included on the line in an attempt to mitigate its damaging effects.

She said she acknowledges that the high-speed railway has "generated strong feelings". Some opponents argue that the line offers no tangible benefit to business, despite its high cost, and that no money exists to pay for a project which comes with a £32.7 billion price tag.

The tracks will run through swathes of picturesque countryside. The first section of the railway will run between Birmingham (Curzon Street) and London (Euston).

Ms Greening insisted the high-speed network will mean extra seats and better connections for passengers, the creation of jobs, and growth and prosperity for the whole country.

The Government said the benefit-cost ratio has become smaller because of the state of the economy. It said the revised economic benefit of between £1.80 and £2.50 being generated from every £1 spent on the new railway is still "convincing".

London's Euston Station is to be rebuilt for the high-speed network, while a new city centre station will be built in Birmingham's Curzon Street.

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