Transport leader Geoff Inskip said building HS2 was essential to meet booming demand on UK railways and bring jobs and investment to the West Midlands.
Mr Inskip, chief executive of regional transport authority Centro, spoke following the findings of the National Audit Office report on HS2 – HS2: A Review of Early Programme Preparation
Mr Inskip said: “We are running out of rail capacity and that is why HS2 is so important to our economy. High speed rail will bring fast, direct services connecting eight of our ten largest cities, but it will also release capacity for more services on our increasingly busy existing lines.”
He said research revealed HS2 would deliver 22,000 jobs and £1.5bn per year to the West Midlands.
“But these are the benefits from phase one between London and Birmingham alone,” he said.
“We’ve moved on a lot since then, we’re working with the other regions and the project has real momentum. The Government’s continuing commitment in the Queen’s Speech and cross-party support for HS2 is terrific news.”
Further research is being completed by Centro to understand the increased benefits of phase two of HS2 connecting the West Midlands with Leeds and Manchester.
Mr Inskip added that authorities and organisations across the West Midlands were working together in a Local Connectivity Group to maximise the benefits of bringing high-speed rail to the West Midlands.
The West Midlands economic work was mentioned by NAO in their report:
2.8 Birmingham City Council told us that they are confident that the programme will act as a stimulus to regenerate parts of the city centre. Centro, the Integrated Transport Authority for the West Midlands, commissioned separate analysis of the impact of High Speed 2 which estimated the line could support an extra 22,000 jobs in the West Midlands.
In the coming weeks Go-HS2 will release figures for Birmingham to Manchester/Leeds.