22 August 2019
A number of firms and organisations have also reacted to yesterday’s news that there will be an independent review into HS2.
Dr Adam Marshall (pictured), director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “There is a strong economic case for delivering all phases of HS2.
“For far too long businesses across the UK have had to cope with heavily congested Victorian-era railways – with passengers and freight traffic vying for priority.
"Businesses count the cost of this in delayed journeys, overcrowded trains, uncertain deliveries and unreliable services.
“By delivering new, dedicated express routes between cities, HS2 will provide much-needed capacity to Britain’s rail network and free up space for local and freight services on existing lines.
"The delivery of other transformational schemes, including Northern Powerhouse Rail, rely on the connections that HS2 will make.
“HS2’s importance goes far beyond train services. Its anticipated completion is already attracting investors and will continue to attract investment to surrounding areas, rejuvenate local economies and create opportunities for businesses across the supply chain.
“While no project should have a blank cheque, business communities across the UK will be concerned about the potential for further delays to HS2. This review must work at pace with our business communities to improve and hone this crucial infrastructure project, which is so important to business confidence.”
Maria Machancoses, director of Midlands Connect, has responded to confirmation that a government review of HS2 will decide the project’s future by the end of 2019, and said: “The massive benefits of HS2 to the Midlands are already being felt. Although a review must rightly scrutinise the project’s deliverability, benefits and costs, we must not lose sight of the fact that HS2 will transform our transport network for the next century.
"Scrapping it or de-scoping it project will be a disaster for the Midlands and the whole country. re-emphasise in the strongest possible terms that Hub at would be a disaster for the Midlands and the whole country.
“We’re pleased that West Midlands Mayor Andy Street is on the review panel to promote the interests of the region. But it’s vital that the East Midlands isn’t ignored in this process either.
"Therefore, Midlands Connect will be submitting compelling evidence to the review concerning the benefits of HS2 to the whole of the Midlands.
“Far beyond those places with dedicated HS2 stations, many Midlands towns and cities will benefit from the rail capacity that HS2 will release.
"Midlands Connect has also submitted a strong business case to the government and HS2 Ltd for direct conventional-compatible links to Nottingham and Leicester city centres, via the HS2 East Midlands Hub at Toton.
“HS2 also underpins the case for improvements we’re proposing to the classic rail network, including our flagship Midlands Rail Hub scheme to transform east-west links across the Midlands.
“Doug Oakervee has already been in touch with Midlands Connect and we look forward to using his review to rally business and civic leaders from across the region once more to re-emphasise in the strongest possible terms that the Midlands needs HS2 to be built in full to rebalance the economy and unite the country.”
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman David Frost said: “We welcome this review into the business case and mounting costs of the HS2 project. However, this must be carried out as quickly as the timetable suggests as it will undoubtedly cause uncertainty in the business community.
“We have and will continue to ensure that Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire get the most out of HS2 in whatever form it takes and that it delivers investment and jobs in our area. We are also mindful of the impact on communities.
“Whilst broadly supporting the project this cannot be at any cost. We will work with all of our partners to respond to the outcome of the review straight away and ensure our voice is heard by the Government.”