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CHAMBER NEWS


Midlands Connect responds to Northern Powerhouse Partnership HS2 Review


Responding to Northern Powerhouse Partnership’s Independent Review into HS2, Midlands Connect Director Maria Machancoses said: “This report makes a compelling case for the delivery of HS2 in its entirety, especially the eastern leg connecting the West Midlands, East Midlands and Leeds. It also highlights the need for much greater regional involvement in the planning and delivery of HS2, so that it is properly integrated with regional upgrades like Midlands Engine Rail and Northern Powerhouse Rail. “We strongly agree that the


benefits of HS2 to the Midlands and the North have been grossly underestimated and cannot be properly quantified within the short scope of the Oakervee Review. The new, compelling evidence submitted from both regions must now be fully analysed before any decisions over HS2’s future are made. “If the Government is committed


to rebalancing the economy and growing the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse, then transforming intercity links between our regions must be an economic imperative, and HS2 supported as the only meaningful vehicle through which to achieve it. “Suggestions that the Eastern


leg between the Midlands and Leeds is in doubt threaten to undermine the Government’s commitment to investment in regional infrastructure. Unless we deliver HS2 Phase 2b, the East Midlands will continue to endure substandard connections to both


with the exact year in which it opened. HS2 will support an enormous amount of economic growth, job creation, increased productivity and swathes of much- needed regeneration, both around the new high-speed stations, but also the existing stations it will serve too. “One look at Birmingham and


you can see those benefits are real and already here. “We must not forget that HS2


Sir John Peace, Chair of Midlands Connect and Midlands Engine


‘HS2 is the best way to add the extra rail capacity we so desperately need’


the North and the West Midlands and another generation of underinvestment. “Of course the HS2 project can


be improved. Midlands Connect’s own evidence has identified brand new direct connections between Birmingham and Nottingham and Leicester and Leeds. But cancelling or descoping the project without a proven or credible alternative leaves the Government with no path towards the “Infrastructure Revolution” we have been promised.” Sir John Peace, Chair of Midlands


Connect and Midlands Engine, said: “HS2 is the best way to add the extra rail capacity we so desperately need to rebalance our country’s economy. In the Midlands and the North, we are backing HS2 in full, stand ready to build it in full, and are impatient to start benefiting from it in full. “This is a project we will all


benefit from for the next hundred years and more. It’s well worth waiting for. Decades from now, when our grandchildren look back at the investment we made in their future, they won’t be concerned


will also drive significant environmental benefits, freeing up capacity for 144 extra freight trains per day, allowing more than two million extra lorries’ worth of cargo to be transported on our railways each year. Empowering businesses to move goods in this way is essential if we’re to reduce emissions and meet the Government’s pledge of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. “I wholly believe that HS2 is a


once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rebalance the UK economy and build a transport network fit for the future. We must all commit to a spirit of candid transparency throughout the project’s delivery. All parties and regions must work together to ensure it is completed in its entirety and as quickly as possible.” Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at


the Chamber, added: “This much- needed project isn’t just about faster trains, it’s about the positive, tangible economic benefits it will provide for our cities, towns and villages and those who inhabit them. This is a once-in-a- generation opportunity and one which must be realised.”


Chamber Annual General Meeting


The Chamber’s Annual General Meeting takes place on 7 November at Jury’s Inn, East Midlands Airport. Due to print deadlines, full details, including reaction from the new Chamber President and Vice-President, will appear in the next edition of Business Network.


For reaction straight after the event, please visit www.emc-dnl.co.uk/news


business network November 2019 39


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