HS2 is About Much More Than a Railway Line
Reacting to the report on HS2 today from the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber, said:
“The Chamber welcomes much of this report and shares the frustration that the public conversation to date has focused solely on speed. HS2, delivered in full, will be transformational for the East Midlands economy, better connecting us to other major hubs across the UK and freeing up vital capacity on the wider road and rail networks, keeping our businesses competitive as they continue to make and move products and people across the UK and beyond.
“For the East Midlands, the project has always been about much more than just a railway line connecting north to south. HS2 acts as a focal point for exciting development plans for the geography around Toton, the airport and the Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station site.
“It has brought together businesses, schools, colleges and universities to look at future skills development in a way that no other initiative has managed previously. It has spurred additional investment into the more local and regional infrastructure we need to deliver its full benefits. And it has created opportunities in the here-and-now for our businesses, winning contracts to deliver HS2 for the whole country.
“As with any major infrastructure project it’s important that costs are controlled. It’s also important that the wider discussion about HS2 moves on from getting people from A to B quicker than they already do and focuses instead on the transformational benefits that HS2 will bring to the UK economy.”