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HS2 Approved By Transport Secretary Justine Greening, But Campaigners Likely To Appeal Decision In The Courts

The government has approved the HS2 High Speed rail line project from London to Birmingham, in a project which will cost £17 billion in its first phase and take nearly 15 years to complete.

The high speed line would connect England's two largest cities and reduce journey times to just under 50 minutes, but many campaigners question whether the line will reduce overcrowding on the existing West Coast Main Line, which is often subject to delays and standing-room only during rush hour.

The full details are to be announced in the Commons this afternoon by transport secretary Justine Greening, but it's already been announced that the plans were significantly revised to include more tunnels along the route. Areas of natural beauty such as the Chiltern Hills are expected to see more tunnels to alleviate objections from campaigners.