The following letter was published by the Birmingham Post today (Feb 14) in response to a published letter from Roger Ellis (Feb 7) expressing concern that high speed rail would bypass Birmingham.
I can offer reassurance in response to Roger Ellis’s concerns that Birmingham ‘is in effect a bypass’ on HS2.
I’m glad to confirm this is certainly not the case as the HS2 city centre station in Moor Street, Birmingham, will be served by trains to London, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, the North West, and indeed Scotland and Europe.
Mr Ellis expressed concerns Birmingham would be bypassed in favour of Manchester as the city centre is on a spur in the line, but Manchester city centre is also on a spur off the HS2 line which continues north to connect with the existing West Coast Main Line near Wigan.
HS2 Ltd, the company responsible for building the proposed high-speed rail line, confirms that when the second phase (from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds) is built Birmingham city centre will have three high speed trains per hour to London, two per hour to Manchester and two per hour to the East Midlands, Sheffield and Leeds. Further HS2 services will connect Birmingham with Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh using trains capable of running on both the high speed line and existing rail lines in the north.
So, in fact, we have a great opportunity as our region is right at the heart of the new high speed rail network.
Our challenge is to maximise the benefits of the new line by improving connections from our local and regional services into the new HS2 stations in the West Midlands.
The West Midlands region stands to benefit from 22,000 jobs and an economic boost of £1.5bn per year with HS2.