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11 March 2010, 16:51
The governments announced plans to start building a new £30bn rail route that would link London with most major cities in the UK.
The trains would run out of London to Amersham and then on to Wendover and Aylesbury before moving through the countryside up to Brackley and then on to the West Midlands.
If the project is cleared, the new line will mean journey times between London and Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield will come down from around 2 hours 10 minutes now to 75 minutes, London to Glasgow and Edinburgh journey times would be reduced to just three and a half hours and London to Birmingham would be just 45 minutes.
The new long distance service is also intended to free up space and extend existing rail links which will benefit areas of housing development around Northampton, Wellingborough and Corby.
The government's promising people worried they'll end up living near the new line will have a chance to express their concerns to bosses during a public consultation due to start in the autumn.
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis thinks the new link will be good for the environment: "High speed trains emit far less carbon than cars or planes per passenger mile and the local impact of high-speed lines is far less than entirely new motorway alignments in terms of land-take and air quality."
The dark blue line shows the proposed route through Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire.