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  • Gary.

  • As you say, there's been no shortage of stories critical of this plan.

  • But there was a sense today, rather subdued and house governs.

  • When Boris Johnson made his announcement that they were giving up the battle, he's the newly elected prime minister with a fat majority who's determined to do this, and you sense that the fire has gone out from most of that campaign as faras Tory MPs.

  • Our concern doesn't stop being critical, though.

  • They're saying, What on earth are we doing?

  • A.

  • Running a high speed rail link between labor cities and charging it through Tory towns?

  • Boris Johnson is trying to address concerns like that by putting money elsewhere, not just into a chest to today.

  • He stole some of the chance of the thunder from his budget announcements by announcing other transport stuff that's gonna be unveiled fairly soon.

  • He's doing that strong, suggests that a chest tube is not gonna gobble up a ll the money that is available.

  • He's also trying to take on the criticism that this is a project HS to where the costs are wildly out of control, he's going to say, is putting new cost controls in there in some cases, new management.

  • What is definitely happening now is that after a long period, the button is finally be impressed on this.

  • What is the biggest infrastructure project in Europe?

  • How you doing?

  • Big.

  • Bigger for us.

  • Johnson visited the Birmingham end of the high speed rail link.

  • It promised a boom in infrastructure spending, a leveling up to help the former Labour seats that backed him in December hs two's budget.

  • Waas.

  • He admitted spiraling and badly managed dumping.

  • It would send the wrong message.

  • This government will deliver a new anatomy of British transport, a revolution in this nation's public transport provisions and assigned to the world that in the 21st century this United Kingdom still has the vision to dream big dreams and the courage to bring those dreams about.

  • A new train map is promised to the high speed rail link from London to Birmingham, then hs to a on to Manchester N.

  • H s to be two leads.

  • They got the go ahead to but subject to reviews to get costs down.

  • An independent report released today shows how the estimated bill's going up from 56 to £88 billion could well end up 20% higher than that.

  • Today, Mr Speaker Cabinet has given high speed rail the green signal way are going to get this done and to ensure that we do so without further blowout to lie the cost, your schedule.

  • We are today taking decisive action to restore discipline to the program.

  • At the other end of the line, they're clearing land for platforms at London, Houston Prime minister said a dedicated minister would now watch over eight.

  • Chest to parts of the project would be under new management.

  • Train numbers and speeds could be trimmed back to save money.

  • Paul's.

  • But Boris Johnson, pressed in summer, is off for a decade of launches and full starts a new north south high speed line.

  • In the next five years, the first works of a new high speed rail network should be done central London to within 49 minutes of Birmingham first high speed network that I'm I'm announcing today.

  • You want to get on board the high speed revolution, you gotta start planning that legislation will be introduced to enable the building of the high speed to railway line take it for me just to is going ahead.

  • The responsible thing to do is to really look at it and say, Is this actually gonna stack up?

  • Gonna be cool?

  • The labour leader said Boris Johnson was running away with the labor policy.

  • Once again we see the government taking ideas from the Labour Party, adopting our language but falling very long way short on the substance of it.

  • Prime minister announced a wave of transport investment initiatives to help towns that feel a chest to benefits cities and not them.

  • I could get.

  • It's late.

  • The biggest benefit, HS, two backers say, is easing congestion on the existing tracks, something that will only get worse without new lines.

  • It looks like protesters at Denham in became Shut, tried to slow down a digger chest to construction site.

  • Today, many story critics in Parliament folded their tents and admitted defeat.

  • Some won't go so quietly.

  • I am no resisting.

  • Oh well.

  • Earlier, I spoke to the prime minister on behalf of all U K broadcasters, and I began by asking if his chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, who once described HS two as a disaster zone, was wrong about it.

  • This is a fantastic project for the country.

  • It delivers a massive increase in capacity for rail up from north, aside from the north, and then it allows us to go forward and develop a northern powerhouse rail, which is exactly what is needed.

  • You need collectivity east, west in the north.

  • That's the crucial thing.

  • You can't make sense of that without a Chester.

  • So we're gonna go here.

  • The tax pro, though, will receive only 60 p for every pound spent.

  • That's hardly value for money, is it?

  • Do not forget Cappie that the Treasury, if they had got their way, would have stopped.

  • The M 25 Treasury would never have allowed the Channel Tunnel to go ahead HS to actually has a better business case today than the end 25 had back there.

  • Everybody always tries to stop big infrastructure projects at round about this moment.

  • I remember when I was when I was mayor of London about 10 years ago, 12 years ago, they tried to stop crossroad.

  • They came to the treasury, came to us and said, Stop talking about Crossrail, this gigantic trench under the middle of London, you know the money could be better spent on other things.

  • You should do that, Chief Upgrades Way said No, you've got to do both.

  • We've talked about buses and a five billion bus in cycling, but actually, since the Conservatives first came to power, you cut 3000 roots investment in bus service is has almost hard.

  • Do you?

  • Was that mistake?

  • Well, when I was married and then we saw a huge increase in buses and bus ridership.

  • I'm a passenger, matted believer in buses and what they could do to change people's lives.

  • And I come at this from from that perspective.

  • I think if you're living in a town or rural area, which is, you know, you say has seen falling away in its bus service and they have over over decades.

  • Now is the time to recognize that clean green buses not only help to get cars off the roads, reduced congestion, reduced pollution.

  • They also given opportunity to people to get to places of work they contain really transform life.

  • So I'm a massive believer buses, and that's why we're making this investment now.

  • They will be built in the UK you've over all the objections of your chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, on HS two.

  • Does he now know who's boss?

  • The government Thio this morning took a collective Cabinet decision on dhe.

  • I didn't It was It was unanimous.

  • I didn't hear a peep of dissent news, a couple of random remarks about how to make it even better.

  • But everybody agreed.

  • The prime minister speaking to me earlier.

  • Well, the impact of the new rail line has been greeted with dismay or enthusiasm.

  • Depending on who you're asking.

  • Environmental campaigners say, more than 100 ancient woodlands will be lost along with hundreds of wildlife sites.

  • They call it costly on damaging a mistake.

  • But business leaders have already called it great news for investment and growth in many parts of the country.

  • Home Affairs correspondent Andy Davis has been hearing more in a war extra woodland, where seeds of the HS two projects are already taking root.

  • The news from Westminster is met with deep resentment were in the climate emergency.

  • We need to be doing sustainable creation, no destroying the country.

  • This project is absolute madness.

  • In Covington Woods, near Leamington Spa, where a chest, too, will run, these activists have little time for pledges of new habitats replacing old, including up to seven million new trees and shrubs.

  • You know, this is listed as being a woodland in the doomsday book, and it's not just about what's above.

  • It's also about what's below your standing on thousands of years of biodiversity.

  • You cannot dig up, dump it in a pile over there.

  • You cannot trans locate an ancient woodland.

  • That's madness.

  • We had eight miles north to Burton Green, where HS two will tunnel its way through amid compulsory purchase orders and disruption payments.

  • Today's news not what Mike Mooney, 35 years of resident of the Village, wanted.

  • It is a life in the village and just no disturbing the area, the older ones.

  • Now, as if the ability, life doesn't matter anymore to these people, the morning one determined to put this railroad true.

  • Come here, Raylan Sunshine don't seem to care.

  • But in Birmingham, half on hour away, where many in business and politics have lobbied so hard for this Grand HS two vision, today's announcement will be hugely welcome news for some now establishing new headquarters here to others who've been based in Birmingham since even before the age of rail.

  • In this case making cufflinks and other jewelry.

  • It's fantastic to have HS two coming to Birmingham.

  • Birmingham has always been the second city, and it's now putting us on a level playing field with London.

  • We've got big companies like KPMG Movements of Birmingham, and it makes us much more accessible going forward so we can offer a range of products from the fencing of the track itself, right the way through to the infrastructure.

  • So steel frame buildings across the city, with Europe's biggest infrastructure project on their doorstep, this business is hoping its metal manufacturing skills might find in a chest to a new client.

  • There is a huge divide between the South on the Midlands and the North on actually.

  • What if we can reduce that divide?

  • What way actually get?

  • Is Maur trade spread right the way across the UK, which is now more important than ever in Birmingham City Center?

  • This afternoon came other endorsements.

  • It's a good job.

  • I've gone ahead with it because I just basing all that I've moved on the back of its supposed create jobs and not so positive.

  • I think the opportunity is being expanded up here is a great thing.

  • So money well spent and that creates jobs and opportunities.

  • So, yeah, But amidst the vast cost of the scheme, others remain deeply unconvinced.

  • Any thoughts?

  • Money wasted, she says, echoing the view of those back in South Covington Woods, where the camp has stood for over four months now.

  • And where, despite today's announcement, this protest goes on.

  • Are you going to stay here for a while?

  • Yeah, absolutely will be here as long as it takes.

  • You could be arrested if if you're not moved off well, they could be enough of us to stand up against it.

  • Sometimes you have to take a stand, and this is one of these times, and they are not alone.

  • As other activists along the route dig in Another challenge for a project already so hampered by spiraling costs and delays.

  • Well, joining me now are the mayor for the West Midlands, Andy Street on Nickie Williams, who's head of campaigns at the wildlife trust Andy Street.

  • First, when you look at the money £106 billion potentially, it is a lot, and a lot of people here in Birmingham weren't necessarily benefit.

  • Is it worth every penny Yes, it is worth it.

  • So the current cost is £85 billion.

  • That's what the calculations not.

  • Some say they'll go up, but that's what's going on.

  • It's not all being paid immediately, probably paid over about 20 years and paid back over probably 50 years.

  • If you think about predecessors who built fantastic railways, they were taking big bets like that.

  • You think of the Channel Tunnel.

  • It is a gamble that you accept.

  • It's a gamble, but they were better.

  • They're taking about it as a private business.

  • That's why I use that word.

  • It's not so with the government to pay them on.

  • It's slightly different.

  • But it's a gamble for the UK taxpayer, though, isn't it?

  • Because I mean the UK taxpayers, a whole will get 60 p back for every pound spend.

  • What do you say to that?

  • Well, there's the deputy chair of the review greed.

  • That's what he said.

  • But that is not what the majority reported, the review said.

  • They said there was well over a pound back for every pound invested.

  • A critical critical difference on the chancellor said that he's poured a ll over the numbers and yes, there is a payback you asked me about people in Birmingham.

  • What they get very quickly actually, is jobs from this obviously huge number of construction jobs that will come on, the contracts be awarded by the end of March.

  • What we're also seeing is inward investment coming into the city already on the promise of this being built.

  • What about people in Norfolk who might get that much more back?

  • You dispute the figures I put to you.

  • Maybe he got his sums wrong.

  • But you know, people in Norfolk are going to see any benefit from this.

  • No, they're probably not gonna see direct benefit, but they do see a benefit if the whole of the country performs better.

  • You know, there's been a long standing imbalance between the great success of London, perhaps the underperformance of all of the regional cities.

  • And we're going to see Birmingham.

  • We're going to see Greater Manchester and Leeds A ll connected.

  • So that's good for the country as a whole.

  • And that benefits everybody.

  • Nickie Williams, you've heard about the benefits.

  • Is it worth the environmental sacrifice?

  • It isn't worth the environmental sacrifices.

  • It is what we want to see is absolutely this ambition that's been spoken about, so let's make it the best green transport that's ever been produced.

  • Let's not slash and burn our way through great sways of irreplaceable habitats like our beautiful ancient woodlands are.

  • Meadows are hedge ways.

  • Let's really make this something different and something special, because as the route goes at the moment, it has to be stopped rethought.

  • The damage is irreparable and irreplaceable.

  • So that's got to be dealt with your response to my response that one of the reasons that this is costing a lot of money is that already in the design, we're trying to think about some of the very fair environmental concerns that Nicky puts on.

  • The obvious example is the huge proportion, the line that's going to be tunneled precisely so we can protect those environments above ground on.

  • Also, you think of another environmental consideration.

  • This is about removing the need for domestic air travel completely.

  • There's a huge environmental advantage if we can achieve that.

  • Well, to be honest with you, what we're not seeing, it's a really good performance from high speed to limited, and that's where a lot of the distrust comes from.

  • It was highlighted by Boris Johnson himself today that they're not performing great and we would echo that completely.

  • We're not being listened to.

  • We've been really productive as the wildlife trust.

  • We've gone out there with a green vision.

  • We've demonstrated it very early on to try and influence.

  • We're not really getting a very good feedback We have seen in some of our own woods contractors coming on site without any word on ancient trees and seriously important habitats being taken down without any conversation or or so we've lost.

  • That trust is the only stamps when that's why we need this to stop everything.

  • One of the things the prime minister said today he was not sort of defending or apologizing the performance of HS two Limited.

  • He was giving an agreement in principle to this, including all the tunneling that I mentioned for very sound environmental reasons.

  • He also said ages to limit to go to improve its performance.

  • One of the key commitments they have given is that for every tree that is very regrettably taken down and be replaced by at least one more, and the total commitment is seven million trees along the distance of the incredibly simplistic because an irreplaceable habitat is really crucial.

  • That word irreplaceable says everything.

  • So the bats and the birds are not going to sit and wait until all of their habitats of regrown 40 or 50 years later with their little suitcases.

  • They do need that proper approach, and sometimes we need to turn Elmore on.

  • We need to be more thoughtful.

  • For example, there are temporary works going into ancient woodland that shouldn't be happening, and they're the kind of things that are really making us nervous as conservationists.

  • If it just just just talk about the second phase, which is getting the go ahead.

  • But there will be reviews in the cost.

  • Do you think if costs spiral on that, that that should be curtailed?

  • I think it's got to be delivered for the total cost envelope.

  • But the reason why there is this pause, as it's being described today for the second phase is acting to make sure we do get the very best balance, off route and new line against cost on their choices that can be made.

  • There are existing eyes that could be upgraded, for example.

  • It's very, very sensible that we take the extra six months to get the best thing on.

  • That includes the best route in terms of minimal impact on the environment.

  • It's good that we're doing that.

  • Did you threaten to quit the mirror content?

  • This was thought this was a story that was put in the press by the naysayers at the weekend.

  • Note.

  • Quite simply, I have never discussed that with anyone in government.

  • What did you say to the prime minister?

  • Then persuade him to go ahead?

  • While I kept saying that this was really important for the economic regeneration of this region, One of the other arguments, from a business point of view on my apologies.

  • We've had some great stuff about the environment, and I will come back to a business point.

  • Here is that the UK government gave its commitment four years ago.

  • We've seen hundreds of millions of pounds brought into the West Midlands economy on the basis that commitment, it is not right for us.

  • Then to change our mind.

  • Where does that leave