Patrick McLoughlin MP
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HS2: Government defends costs amid Darling criticism

The government is planning "massive" investment in Britain's rail network beyond the HS2 project, the transport secretary has said.

Patrick McLoughlin was responding to a warning by the former chancellor Alistair Darling of a potential "nightmare" on England's existing railways if the multibillion-pound HS2 line is built, draining cash from other lines.

Mr McLoughlin insisted that the government is planning to invest £37bn on other areas of the rail network, adding that HS2 was vital to tackling a freight and passenger capacity shortage.

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