Artist's impression of the Birmingham and Fazeley viaduct, part of the HS2 proposed route
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HS2 benefits 'will come quickly'

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said commuters will see benefits from HS2 very soon, as pressure is taken off routes into London Euston as soon as the first phase is complete.

He told the BBC's World At One programme: "Quite often governments are attacked for not planning for the future. This is planning for the future."

Supporters of HS2 argue that apart from shorter journey times, the main argument in favour of the project is the need to greatly increase passenger capacity.