This morning I was the Lib Dem spokesperson at the transport debate on high speed rail. The debate had been secured by my Lib Dem colleague from Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland, who is making the case for a single high speed line with a spur to either side of the Pennines.
Once HS2 has reported back to Lord Adonis at the end of the year, there will be a heated debate on the most appropriate route (or routes), as well as a number of MPs trying to avoid the line cutting through their constituency.
The Lib Dems have led the way on high speed rail. The Government has dithered for too long, and as a result we have a sum total of 68 miles of high speed rail,out of 3500 across the whole of Europe. The Tories are no better, having only committed to bring high speed rail to Manchester and Leeds, but more worryingly they have argued that it could be funded from existing budgets, which suggests that cuts will need to be made on other rail priorities. Unsurprisingly there was no mention of this from Stephen Hammond, the Tory spokesperson!