26 February 2013 - Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My Lords, this is a very high-speed debate and I am pleased to have the opportunity to repeat my wholehearted support for High Speed 2.

We tend not to be very good at assessing the benefits of new rail schemes. A cost-benefit approach has been adopted to satisfy the requirement for analysis where public policy or public money is involved. However, cost-benefit appraisals for rail schemes have consistently underestimated the benefits that they bring. The growth in passenger numbers is often achieved much earlier than forecast. Total passenger numbers in 2012 were higher than at any time in our country since 1922, and parts of the railway are already full.

Read the findings of the Commons Select Committee on the completion and sale of High Speed 1