Chancellor gives his backing to HS2 plans

George Osborne
George Osborne

The Chancellor of the Exchequer says he is passionate about the controversial HS2 high-speed rail line planned to run through the Daventry district.

The line will connect London to Birmingham with the construction of the line threatening homes in the area. It will go through Boddington, Chipping Warden and Aston le Walls.

HS2 is opposed by many local residents but the Chancellor said the project was about “changing the economic geography” of Britain to make sure the north of England and the Midlands benefit from an economic recovery.

George Osborne would not be drawn on whether spending on HS2 could rise higher than the £42 billion budget, insisting contingency costs had been built in to plans.

He said: “We have set the budget for £42 billion for the construction costs. That includes, by the way, a big contingency.

“As we demonstrated with the Olympic Games, we can deliver these big projects actually sometimes under budget.”

“I think we have got a good budget, which has got a very big contingency in it, we’ve set a budget. I’m passionate about this project because time and again, we have this debate in our country about how we’re going to bring the gap between north and south together, about how we’re going to make sure that our growth is not just based on the City of London.”