Statement on HS2 latest
Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, has issued the following statement on HS2.
"I welcome today's news that the Government intends pressing ahead with the London to Birmingham stage of HS2, but it's disappointing that the second stage to link Birmingham with the North faces yet another review.
"As I made clear to Douglas Oakervee when he launched his review, the people of the Midlands and the North have been neglected for far too long and HS2 is a once in a generation opportunity to rebalance the UK economy.
"This is not about fast trains - it's about jobs, skills and opportunities.
"HS2 will free up capacity on the rest of the rail network, improving connectivity within – and importantly between - our cities.
"It will also shift more freight onto rail - an important step towards zero carbon emissions.
"We will only truly see the full benefits of HS2 when Birmingham and the Midlands are at the very heart of a national network.
"So, while today's news is welcome, the simple message for the Government now is to Get HS2 Done.
"Let this be the end of the delays and uncertainty."