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HS2 to spark productivity drive in Midlands, leaders say

Businesses in the Midlands have today stated that improved transport connections created by HS2 will reduce inequality between high and low performing regions and push forward productivity growth.

In a report published by HS2 Ltd today, mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street alongside chairman of Midlands Connect Sir John Peace both have argued that joining up different parts of the UK will allow for a greater pooling of people and capital around the country’s separate regions.

The report, which will be unveiled later today in Nottingham, also argued that the new high-speed rail line will drive world-leading skills and research in the north and Midlands which will bring these areas up to the same standard as London.

“HS2 will play a critical role in correcting that imbalance, particularly as it is fully integrated with the strategies for both Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Connect,” HS2 Ltd CEO Sir David Higgins said in the report.  

“A combination of more capacity and better connectivity will improve accessibility and, therefore, productivity in both regions – at the same time as helping to ease the pressure on London.

“HS2 will itself offer significant opportunities to those supply chains and, through the new High-Speed Rail Colleges at Birmingham and Doncaster, will leave a lasting impact on the UK skills base.

“Its longest lasting legacy, though, will be helping that process of joining up the dots between where we are now, and where we could get to as a country – the process of rebalancing the national economy to get the best out of each and every part of Britain.”

Mayor Street added that HS2 offered “the biggest opportunity for our region in a generation,” as it puts the Midlands at the heart of a national high-speed rail network.

“But there are so many other benefits. It provides us with the opportunity to transform our transport links within our region, to make the most of HS2,” he claimed.

“Our vision is that nobody in the West Midlands will be more than 40 minutes away from a HS2 station by public transport.”

And Peace stated: “The Midlands economy is built on a strong advanced manufacturing base and is enhanced by a wide range of sectoral strengths, universities and research centres.

“Midlands Connect and Midlands Engine are seizing on the once in a generation opportunity HS2 brings to drive growth for the region, through improved connectivity within the region as well as beyond.

“We will create a thriving environment for businesses to flourish and HS2 is critical for us to do that.”

Maria Machancoses, director of Midlands Connect, will be writing about what the Autumn Budget means for the region in terms of rail infrastructure in the next edition of RTM (Dec/Jan).


Stratfan   30/11/2017 at 14:16

The business case is based on people not working on trains which is obviously not true. I used to get loads of work done on trains and planes free from constant interruption.

Lutz   30/11/2017 at 16:08

Utter gibberish. The problem with making such claims is that in the years to come, the general public my hold you to account for failure to deliver on them.

Simon Eames1990   30/11/2017 at 22:29

Yawn Yawn. HS2 Ltd, your bragging about creating jobs and benefiting passengers is so boring.

Andrew Gwilt   01/12/2017 at 04:05

HS2 will benefit much quicker journey times from London to the North of England. Thats why HS2 is so important.

Mark   01/12/2017 at 06:49

What, because it’s true, Simon?

King's Lynn   01/12/2017 at 10:01

I think what Simon's driving at is that it's the same patter being delivered time and time again. Methinks the lady (HS2 in this case) doth protest too much, far better to just get on with the job and deliver it than release patently obvious statements every five minutes.

Andyh   01/12/2017 at 13:57

"In a report PUBLISHED BY HS2", compiled with the help of the 14 PR companies, paid for by the taxpayer, to convince the taxpayer that HS2 is a good idea. If you connect 2 commercial centres with high speed rail the lesser ALWAYS suffers at the expense of the more dominant. Read Load Adonis' (Chairman of the Infrastructure Commission) speech on HS2. It's called "Golden Arrow For London". It basically says everyone should accept that Britain needs London to be more successful, post Brexit and HS2 will help do that. London is constrained because there is no affordable housing and some people who would work in London don't want to live there. HS2 solves that problem by allowing skilled people to commute from the midlands and the north and moving those jobs into London. Adonis admits it - in a round about way.

Andyh   01/12/2017 at 13:59

Correction - his speech is called "Golden Arrow To London" - sorry to mislead - did an HS2 there!

GEORDIE   01/12/2017 at 14:49

It's a bleedin' railway line, an expensive, nonsensical, idiotic waste of much needed taxpayers' money. Not a magic wand . Why do RTM keep churning out this unfiltered press release garbage. How about challenging this nonsense for a change?

Graham Nalty   01/12/2017 at 19:25

There are many places in the West Midlands that will not benefit much from HS2 because of the time that has to be spent changing between Curzon Street and New Street. Until someone addresses that issue, then there could be as many losers as winners from HS2. However I think that the idea that people can commute over 100 miles to London via HS2 should be discouraged. If the Midlands and North are to grow their regional economies, they do not need a brain drain of their brightest talent to jobs in London.

Mmlred   04/12/2017 at 11:30

Try telling the denizens of Derby and Nottingham, who commute from one to the other daily, that the 14 minutes added to their journey time as a result of Toton being built will boost their productivity.

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