Transport leaders welcome HS2 as ‘significant step forward’ in connecting the nation’s major cities

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Picture: Priestmangoode

Transport leaders from across the regions have welcomed HS2’s phase 2 public consultation launch as a significant step forward in connecting eight of our ten major cities.

Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, launched the period of public consultation on the proposed route from the West Midlands to Manchester and Leeds and called on city leaders from the biggest economic powerhouses outside of London to ensure maximum economic benefits - including job creation and skills development - are generated by HS2.

Members of the Passenger Transport Executive Group (pteg) – the strategic transport bodies serving over 11 million people in the largest city regions outside London – said it was a challenge they were delighted to take up.

Chair of pteg, David Brown, said many of the past headlines had been about London, but HS2 had the ability to unlock great potential across the country by connecting the city regions with fast, direct services and allowing them to be more competitive.

“This is tremendous news for our cities and will change forever the way we travel and do business,” he said.

Mr Brown said HS2 would cut journey times from around 90 minutes to 40 minutes between Birmingham and Manchester and from around two hours to less than one hour between Birmingham and Leeds.

“Much has been written about journey times to London, but how many people realise journey times are slashed between our regions?

“We’re delighted the Transport Secretary shares our view that we must strive to ensure we deliver the maximum benefits from this once-in-a-generation opportunity. These fast, direct links – which will also address overcrowding on our existing lines – are essential to our economic prosperity and future. We must build HS2.”

Mr Brown said he was also encouraged to see HS2 Ltd’s plans for engineering jobs and apprenticeships, with over 2,000 apprentices set to be employed in construction related jobs on HS2 – nearly five times more than either Crossrail or the Olympics.

Ends

For more contact Jonathan Bray on 0113 251 7445 / 0781 804 1485