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21.03.16

Core City council leaders urge party leaders to back HS2 Bill

Leaders of 10 city councils have voiced their support of HS2 ahead of the third reading of the HS2 Bill, due on Wednesday.

The council leaders signed a letter to the leaders and transport spokespeople of the main political parties, saying implementation of phase 1 must begin in 2017.

They say that they ultimately support a high-speed rail network with extensions in all directions as far as Scotland and Wales.

The letter says: “The Core Cities believe that increasing capacity on the rail network is critical to our economic future and we cannot go on relying on our Victorian network of routes alone.  There is an important relationship between growth, jobs and HS2. 

“High speed rail is the best way to achieve a more sustainable, rebalanced economic future for the nation as a whole and represents an opportunity to generate long term private sector growth and jobs across the whole of the UK, reshaping the national economy to do more, by helping businesses to thrive in and around our major urban centres. And if our cities perform better, then our nation will perform better.”

Last week HS2 named a team made up of Atkins, CH2M and Sener as its phase 1 engineering delivery partner.

HS2 has wide backing among northern cities. A recent report from think thank ResPublica recommended that Liverpool use local business rates and National Insurance contributions to pay for HS2 to come to the city, and the draft Greater Manchester Transport Strategy says HS2 stations will be needed at Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport.

The letter’s signatories include:

  • Councillor John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council
  • George Ferguson, mayor of Bristol
  • Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council
  • Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool
  • Councillor Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council
  • Councillor Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council
  • Councillor Jon Collins, leader of Nottingham City Council
  • Councillor Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council
  • Councillor Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council

Councillor Phil Bale, leader of Cardiff City Council  

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