HS2 will deliver 50,000 jobs to the West Midlands and growth of £4bn per year in the region’s economic output, new research has revealed.
Figures show that the benefits of connecting Birmingham with London are more than doubled when the West Midlands is also linked with the East Midlands, North West and Yorkshire via high speed rail.
The economic research details for the first time the regional benefits of the full HS2 ‘Y’ route which puts the West Midlands at the heart of a network connecting eight major cities.
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This is about connecting our regions and providing fast, direct links delivering jobs and economic growth. This is a tremendous opportunity for our region to build the transport network we need and secure more than 50,000 jobs.”
Sir Albert is a member of the HS2 Growth Taskforce, led by former London Olympics chief Lord Deighton, which met in Birmingham for the first time today to discuss job creation, regeneration and development around high speed rail with business leaders.
Geoff Inskip, chief executive of regional transport authority Centro, said: “We’ve always said HS2 is about driving the West Midlands economy and this research proves the point.”
“We’re right at the heart of the network and our challenge is to make the most of HS2 and deliver these jobs and benefits using capacity released on our existing lines and developing new rapid transit links to our high speed stations.”
Jerry Blackett, CEO, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce said: “HS2 has the potential to transform the region economically. In the short-term, the stimulus created by its construction will be an enormous boost. In the longer-term, the region becomes a much more viable prospect for potential investment, and we could see a massive benefit from migration further north.”
“The project also tackles a potential capacity crisis in the coming decades, which, if left alone, could have a debilitating effect on the business community,” he added.
The Office of Rail Regulation reported last month that the West Midlands has seen an increase in rail passenger journeys of 14 per cent in the last year.
Coventry and Birmingham are in the top four UK cities for rail growth.
Phase One of HS2, connecting London with Birmingham, will tackle demand and congestion on the southern section of the West Coast Main Line – the busiest railway in Europe.
The supporting document can be found here – How the HS2 Y Network Will Transform the West Midlands