City keen to be 'early beneficiary' of High Speed Rail

By on 11/07/2011 in News

Birmingham and the West Midlands can take early advantage of the significant economic benefits generated by the UK's proposed High Speed Rail network, the City Council's Cabinet was told today (July 11).
 
The city will be the first to be connected to London by the proposed HS2 line, with the West Midlands as a whole benefiting from 22,000 new jobs and an increase in economic output of £1.5 billion a year.
 
The Cabinet report notes that the region will be the 'early beneficiary' as the UK economy becomes more balanced and less London-centric.
 
It states: “Phase 1 of HS2 - from London to Birmingham - means that the West Midlands can be an early beneficiary. Phase 2 would provide shorter journey times and more capacity for journeys between Birmingham and other major cities across the UK.”
 
City Council Leader Mike Whitby said the benefits for Birmingham and the West Midlands were clear - job creation, increased productivity and increases in average pay.
 
“We see this as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest for the future and provide a 21st century high speed transport system linking the cities of the Midlands, the North and Scotland with London and Europe,” he said.
 
The report also notes that HS2 will reshape the economic geography of the UK, concluding that HS2 will attract companies from the overheated south east of England to the West Midlands, helping to create badly needed new jobs and increased prosperity.
 
Councillor Whitby said a further significant benefit of HS2 was the increased capacity HS2 would free up on the existing rail network.
 
“This freed up capacity will provide more local, regional and freight services spreading the benefits of HS2 across the West Midlands region,” he added.
 
Stations across the West Midlands including Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell & Dudley, Coventry, Lichfield and Tamworth would benefit from improved frequency of services.
 
The HS2 Y-shaped network would also create integrated and powerful economic zones outside of London, including the West Midlands and Manchester/Liverpool, the West Midlands and East Midlands/Sheffield/Leeds.

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