Three-quarters of British businesses want High Speed Rail

Supporting HS2 in Birmingham

It’s great news to hear that over three quarters of British businesses surveyed in a new poll support High Speed Rail.

Critics of the proposed scheme say that opposition is spread across the country and not just focused on the line of route.

But a poll released by the Federation of Small Businesses at the end of August claimed that nine out of ten businesses did not support HS2. This poll only surveyed businesses in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire – counties that are along the first stage of the proposed route where some of the strongest opposition to the project has been seen.

Today’s survey, conducted by respected pollster YouGovStone, sampled over 500 senior individuals in businesses from a range of different sectors. The majority of these (91%) were small businesses with between five and 49 employees and they clearly want High Speed Rail.

Most significantly these businesses were geographically spread across England, Scotland and Wales.

Business understands that we need to invest in a transport system for the 21st century. Our roads are increasingly congested and rail passenger demand is growing at 6% per year, even in a recession.

As West Coast Rail 250 was keen to point out in the Transport Select Committee hearing yesterday the positive benefits of released capacity on the WCML have been underplayed.

Transferring major city traffic onto HS2 releases capacity for local and regional services, as well as freight, on existing lines.

Deborah Smith, Director of Wordsmith Communications in Birmingham, said:

“In this climate, local businesses want to have the chance to succeed and grow. With high-speed rail, we have a project that will deliver real benefits to local companies – attracting outside investment and giving us access to more markets. This will help to unlock potential for local employers, and result in jobs for local people. As a business person, high-speed rail therefore has my total support.”

You can read the story here.

 

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