Patrick McLoughlin presented the findings of a KPMG report which says the HS2 rail project could boost the UK economy by £15bn a year, with much of the benefit being felt outside London.
In a speech at the Institute of Civil Engineers, Mr McLoughlin argued that rejecting HS2 would amount to a “national loss of nerve”.
Commenting on the speech by the Transport secretary today and new analysis from KPMG on economic benefits of HS2, Baroness Jo Valentine CEO of London First said: “HS2 will boost capacity on our railways and tie the great cities of Britain closer together.
“KPMG’s analysis shows clearly that faster and better rail connections will benefit the whole of the UK, not just London and the south.
“The Government should stick to its course and bear down on the project’s costs to ensure taxpayers get good value for money.”