Andrew Stephenson named new HS2 minister

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Andrew Stephenson MP has been selected as minister for the HS2 scheme – the high-speed railway connecting London with Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds

Andrew Stephenson also has responsibility for the Transpennine and Northern Powerhouse Rail routes.

On 11 February PM Boris Johnson announced that the controversial HS2 scheme would go ahead.

He also revealed he would appoint a full-time minister to oversee the project.

Johnson stated that measures would be taken to “restore discipline to the programme”, this includes investigating costs to identify where savings can be made.

Andrew Stephenson was appointed minister of state at the Department for Transport on 13 February 2020.

Stephenson was previously minister of state at the foreign and commonwealth office and the Department for International Development from 25 July 2019 to 13 February 2020. He was first elected as Conservative MP for Pendle in May 2010.

What is the HS2 scheme?

The initial proposals were for a new railway line between London and the West Midlands, with as many as 1,100 seats per train.

The line would allow trains to reach speeds of up to 250mph and would run as often as 14 times an hour in each direction.

This would be followed by a second phase taking services from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds.

According to the latest predictions, the initial stage would be finished between 2028 and 2031, and the second stage would be complete in 2035-2040.

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