Key voices from across the Midlands have come together in a new report published today (12 Nov), arguing that the full ‘Y shaped’ HS2 network must be completed in full to allow for the long-promised ‘levelling up’ of the regional and national economy.
Published by High Speed Rail Group (HSRG), ‘HS2 Midlands Voices’ highlights that HS2’s Eastern Leg is vital in guaranteeing the benefits of the project are shared equally across the Midlands.
The East Midlands currently has the lowest transport spend per head of any in the UK (£245), receiving 49% less than the UK average (£483) and HS2 will essential in redressing this balance.
The West Midlands has already benefitted significantly from the prospect of HS2’s arrival, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and HSRG member Jacobs are examples of major businesses who have already relocated operations to Birmingham, with HS2 creating more jobs in the West Midlands than any other region outside of London.
As we are in another national lockdown, HS2 has an important role to play in the economic recovery following Covid-19. Not just in terms of jobs, but also apprenticeships and supply chain opportunities.
The report offers analysis and ideas on the impact of high-speed rail in the Midlands across a number of key areas:
- Levelling up the Midlands regional economy, and boosting connections east to west and north to south
- Supporting the national economy in its recovery from COVID-19
- Radically changing the transport offer for passengers with more capacity, connections and faster services
- Increasing jobs and access to them, along with a skills legacy
- Environmental benefits including modal shift and air quality
- Design and construction innovation
- HS2 as an essential component in the delivery of Midlands Engine Rail
You can view the full report here.