Axing HS2 Manchester leg would be a tragedy, says UK infrastructure chief

Sir John Armitt says cost of project needs to curbed, but that there are ‘massive benefits’ to economy in continuing

Axing the Manchester leg of the HS2 high-speed rail line would be a “tragedy” but the government needs to “get a grip of the costs”, the country’s infrastructure chief has said.

Sir John Armitt, the chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, which is responsible for providing expert advice to the UK government, also said cancellation of the route would tell the world that the UK “runs away when it starts to see some challenges”.

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