Network Rail has proposed a £34 billion High Speed Rail (HSR) link from London to Scotland, via Birmingham and Manchester. Commenting on the report, Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Despite the squeeze on the public finances, Government must continue to rebuild Britain's business infrastructure. This means sustained long-term investment in rail, air and road projects that cut the costs of congestion, improve productivity, and promote growth. “Chambers of Commerce around the country support High Speed Rail, which would help connect Britain's regional cities with new national and international markets, and boost transport capacity. But any future HSR network cannot be built at the expense of upgraded road junctions, commuter services, and improved connections to our ports and airports.
“The BCC has long called for a medium-term plan to pare back public spending - once the recession has been contained. As part of that plan, Government should protect essential infrastructure investment, and also make it clear when we can afford both long-overdue transport upgrades and HSR.”