The Spectator magazine published an article that was critical of HS2 this week, claiming that the project was in doubt. The reasons cited were dubious (HS2 was never going to be included in the recent Queen’s Speech) and have already been dealt with elsewhere on this blog.
The need to build HS2 remains as important as ever and the commitment to build as strong as ever.
Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip
Work on the Hybrid Bill is forging ahead and we welcome this as we all press on to construct HS2 to meet rail demand and bring jobs and opportunities to the West Midlands.
Rail passenger levels have doubled in a decade in our region and our services are becoming increasingly crowded.
If we do not meet demand for rail we risk having to choose which services we can run on our crowded network and this will undoubtedly lead to vital local and regional services being cut.
HS2 brings 22,000 jobs and economic benefits of £1.5bn per year to our regional economy. It not only brings fast, direct links with major UK and European cities, it also releases capacity for local, regional and freight services in our region. The arguments are stronger than ever and that is why it is imperative we build HS2.
Birmingham Chamber CEO Jerry Blackett:
HS2 is the only option if we are serious about providing the railway capacity and infrastructure that our economy will need in the future.
Our competitors are surging ahead and investing in their railways because they recognise their importance of boosting regional economies and ensuring businesses can access markets. We cannot allow our future prosperity and growth to be derailed by a minority of vocal opponents in the South.
Cities are the natural drivers of growth and job creation and as such people naturally flock to them and as such it is vital we link them up via a High Speed Railway line in order to provide the capacity and reduced journey times that will allow our cities to flourish.
If we continue to muddle along we must accept that our economy will follow suit and watch as we are out paced by the dynamic economies that had the foresight to invest in High Speed Rail.