Transport authority says Birmingham city centre HS2 station must be world-class and deliver direct services to Paris and Brussels

Members of the region’s transport authority say Birmingham’s city centre high speed station must be world class with services to destinations including Paris and Brussels.

Members of Centro gave their continuing support to HS2 at yesterday’s (June 24) Integrated Transport Authority meeting and set out their plans to deliver the maximum benefits from high speed rail.

Centro chairman Councillor John McNicholas said investment to ensure swift links between high speed rail and other forms of transport was the key to delivering the best return from HS2 in the West Midlands.

Members have endorsed calls for a twin-track link between HS2 and HS1 to provide international connectivity between the West Midlands and European cities, as well as domestic high speed stations in the south east including Stratford and Ashford.

Cllr McNicholas said: “It’s essential the West Midlands is linked to Europe by high speed rail. High speed rail does not terminate in London and we will be working closely with Transport for London.”

“There must be a direct link between HS2 and the existing HS1 line from London to Europe, allowing passengers in the West Midlands fast, direct rail travel to the continent.”

Members have also called for a ‘one-station’ design for Birmingham’s city centre station allowing for swift transfer between local, regional and international services.

The authority also supports the extension of Metro into Eastside connecting with the high speed rail station.

Cllr McNicholas said new infrastructure would be essential in delivering the 22,000 jobs and £1.5bn per year phase one of HS2 would bring to the region.

Centro is also working with local authorities to examine a rapid transport link between Coventry city centre and the high speed station at Birmingham Interchange.

“The high speed line between the West Midlands and London brings 10,000 jobs on its own, but it is the work we do as a region to enhance connectivity that is key and will deliver 22,000 jobs for phase one alone,” Cllr McNicholas said.

He added that Centro would shortly be publishing economic figures for phase 2 (connecting Birmingham with Leeds and Manchester) bringing more jobs and economic growth.

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