Heathrow campaigners back £30bn train plan
A £30billion north-south high-speed rail link has been unveiled by a group opposed to Heathrow expansion.
The 2M Group's scheme proposes a fast train route between London and Scotland and through to Europe to cut the number of flights needed at Heathrow.
The line would run down the M1 corridor where existing noise and pollution from the motorway has discouraged residential development.
The organisation's plans say the full north-south line would be built in phases, with the first section from London to Leicester with a branch to Birmingham connecting to both West Coast and Midland Main Lines.
The second phase would extend from Leicester along the M1/M18 corridor and connect to the East Coast Main Line in Yorkshire while the third could extend from Sheffield to Leeds to Manchester.
The final stages would extend to Liverpool along the M62 corridor and shadow the East Coast Main Line and M8 corridors to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Group spokesman Edward Lister said: "The airlines and airport operators have long been powerful advocates for their industry.
"Yet the need for equally influential rail 'champions' has never been greater.
"Whatever the future holds for Heathrow can we really continue to ignore the potential of high speed rail to transform the way we travel both in the UK and in Europe?"