Philip Hammond’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference on Monday is now online – read the whole speech here.
“…So when Ministers in this Government talk about investing in education and skills, about making the planning system work; about employment law reform and delivering transport and power generation and broadband communication infrastructure, we are talking about raising Britain’s productivity.
“Supporting economic growth and the deficit reduction plan as well as the Government’s carbon reduction targets.
“Some of our transport investment plans, like High Speed Two, are long term.
“The biggest programme of rail investment since the Victorian era. The Ordsall Chord as the first stage of the vital Northern Hub, right here in Manchester; 2,700 new rail carriages.
“And, of course, we’ve just finished a consultation on our plans for HS2 – a new high speed rail network linking London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. A project that would transform the social and economic geography of Britain – and put desperately-needed new capacity on our railways. As well as slashing the train journey time between Manchester and Euston by almost an hour to just 73 minutes.
“I know that these huge infrastructure projects, like the reforms to the planning system that Eric has announced, provoke some strong opposition. Just as the building of the original Victorian railways did. And the construction of the M25 – which runs through my backyard.
“But imagine Britain without them now.
“As an individual, I respect people’s instinct to defend their own back yards. But the job of Government is to act in the interest of the nation as a whole.
Please do click on the links to see what Stop HS2 and others have said about some of the points Philip Hammond raised.