BORIS Johnson says Britain should have the courage to dream as he pledged to deliver high speed trains across the North alongside HS2.
The Prime Minister stared down his critics as he gave the green signal to the 250mph HS2 track from London to Birmingham, with work to begin in April.
Boris Johnson has pledged to deliver high speed trains across the North alongside HS2
But the final third of the link will be reviewed to cut costs and integrate it with Northern Powerhouse Rail, linking Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds through a new High Speed North project.
The PM tried to appease Tory MPs opposing the line by shaking up the board of the company running HS2, creating HSN and keeping the development of Londons Euston station separate.
He also announced a new minister will be appointed to oversee the project.
He said: It will be a sign 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.
Yes, it is ambitious. But ambition, frankly, is what we have lacked for too long.
Two centuries ago our ancestors could have been content with breeding faster horses – instead, they invented the railways.
They looked to the future of transport and they made it happen and today it is our duty to do the same.
Details on the final phase of the network, linking Euston with Manchester and Leeds, should be announced by the end of the week. The government does not expect costs to rise above 98billion although a report warned they could hit 106billion.
As well as 5billion on buses and cycle lanes, the PM also announced a series of road improvements.
Tory backbenchers admitted defeat on HS2 but voiced their disappointment.
Andrew Bridgen MP said: HS2 is unloved, unwanted and has been grossly mismanaged. It very adversely affects my constituents.
And Dr Richard Wellings, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: Costs are now likely to exceed the benefits.
The PM said: ‘Yes, it is ambitious. But ambition, frankly, is what we have lacked for too long’