The Department for Transport is currently undertaking an economic evaluation of High Speed 1, covering transport user benefits, wider economic impacts, regeneration, and Government shareholdings and assets. That evaluation is planned to be completed this summer.
I thank the Minister for that answer, and I welcome the announcement of the full extension of HS1 to Deal, Walmer and Martin Mill in my constituency, and the benefits that that will bring to the local economy. Will he give an idea of the similar benefits that might be provided by HS2?
It is only fair for me to recognise the extraordinary efforts of my hon. Friend in ensuring that high-speed rail comes to Deal. I also recognise the extraordinary efforts of my hon. Friend the Member for Hastings and Rye (Amber Rudd), who is making the same case. HS2 will make an important contribution to securing prosperity across the country. It will generate jobs and rebalance the economy, and our estimates suggest that there will be more than £70 billion of benefits, including £53 billion of benefits to business.