||In January 2009, the Government established High Speed Two Ltd (HS2 Ltd) to consider the options for a new high speed rail network in Britain, starting with a costed and deliverable proposal for a new line from London to Birmingham. HS2 Ltd's report concludes that there is a strong business case for a new London to Birmingham line, and sets out detailed recommendations for the design of its route, together with a range of options for how it might be extended to serve other conurbations. The Government has evaluated these proposals in respect of their costs and benefits for enhancing capacity and connectivity in a sustainable way, which is its key strategic objective for inter-city transport. It has also considered other realistic options for meeting the UK's inter-urban capacity needs over the next 30 years, including carrying out a detailed analysis of the potential costs and benefits of major improvements to existing rail and road networks. This Command Paper sets out both the Government's response to HS2 Ltd's recommendations and its assessment of the case for an initial core British high speed rail network.The Government proposes to begin formal public consultation in the autumn, to cover three key issues: HS2 Ltd's detailed recommendations for a high speed line from London to the West Midlands; the strategic case for high speed rail in the UK; the Government's proposed strategy for an initial core high speed rail network.