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FOR more than a year we have heard in-depth explanations and arguments about why HS2 is such a bad idea for the area.
The business and environmental cases have both been rubbished yet why does the government appear to be so staunchly behind it?
Here we highlight some of the key reasons put forward for building the £33billion link from London to Birmingham:
* To capitalise on a renaissance in rail travel, passengers numbers have increased by 50 per cent in the last decade.
* To address capacity constraints on the link from London to Birmingham then Manchester and Leeds.
* To improve Britain's rail infrastructure into the 2020s and beyond.
* To cut journey times to the Midlands, the North and Scotland and to reduce car and domestic flight travel.
* To connect to a new interchange at Heathrow Airport.
* To deliver economic, environmental and social benefits by reducing journey times and overcrowding, supporting expected housing and population growth and encouraging regeneration.
* High-speed rail trains will be able to travel at up to 400kph and are capable of climbing steeper gradients, which allows them to 'hug' the landscape - avoiding the need for so many viaducts and high embankments and minimising noise and environmental effects.
* By bridging the North and south divide, it will close the economic gap and encourage more business to take place between these two parts of the country.
* Every £1 spent by the government is estimated to generate £2 for the economy.