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Our national transport networks are essential for people going about their day-to-day lives. In order to stimulate Britains economic growth and support our position as a leading world economy it is essential that we make the right long-term investments in our transport infrastructure today and that we plan for future growth, in a way which is consistent with reducing greenhouse gas emissions overall.
The Minister of State, Lord Adonis, will chair a National Networks Strategy Group, with senior partners from the Highways Agency, Network Rail, HM Treasury and other government departments as required. I have asked that the group focus on two issues. The first is how to make best use of the existing key networks, for example, by the selective extension of rail electrification or the wider implementation of hard shoulder running on our motorways to provide additional capacity for motorists and to give them greater reliability and choice.
Alongside this, the study will focus on longer-term solutions for the strategic corridors. This will include consideration of wholly new rail lines, including high-speed rail. We are committed to developing a modern sustainable rail system that supports economic growth, including
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However, it is crucial that the case for such investment is underpinned by robust evidence on long-term demand projections and a clear understanding of the capacity of the existing networks, and takes full account of relevant geographical, technical and environmental
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