Northern Powerhouse

16.06.20

HS2 minister to host roundtables on integrated rail plan

Andrew Stephenson, HS2 Minister, is hosting a series of virtual meetings with leaders from across the north and Midlands, making sure regional representatives can voice their priorities for the integrated rail plan (IRP) and the current plans for HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and Midlands Engine Rail.

Following the announcement, back in February, to continue with HS2 the government has committed to drawing up an integrated rail plan, informed by an assessment from the National Infrastructure Commission, to allow discussions as to how to bring transformational rail improvements to the north and Midlands as quickly as possible, whilst driving down essential costs and over-specification.

The roundtables will form one part of the engagement process and will seek the views of local authorities, metro mayors, local enterprise partnerships and chambers of commerce.

 Over the next 2 weeks, the minister, along the HS2 Ltd and Network Rail officials, will meet with 70 representatives from The North West, North East, Yorkshire, East and West Midlands, with further roundtables events set to take place later in the year.

HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson said: “Our plan for a better-connected country and for stronger regional economies is best realised with the voices of all of our towns and cities at the table.

“Even as we work to tackle COVID-19, these meetings will ensure we do not lose momentum on developing the vital infrastructure needed for the future as quickly as possible.

“I am determined to ensure each region’s voice is heard as we develop our integrated rail plan, to help deliver a coordinated, pragmatic strategy best suited to the needs of communities across the north and Midlands.”

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