Majority of residents on HS2 route back plan

By on 15/06/2011 in News

The majority of residents living along the proposed High Speed Rail route in Birmingham have given their support to the scheme in a city council survey.

Sixty one per cent of respondents to Birmingham City Council’s questionnaire stated they were supportive of the proposals to bring High Speed Rail to Birmingham.

The city council sent thousands of questionnaires to properties within one kilometre of the proposed route asking residents for their views. Of those who responded 53 per cent fully supported the proposals, stating they believed High Speed Rail would create new jobs and be beneficial for the local economy. A further eight per cent supported the scheme but made comments on specific elements. 

Research shows that High Speed Rail (HSR), combined with regional rail improvements, will bring 22,000 jobs to the West Midlands and a boost of around £1.5bn per year to the region’s economy.

HSR will also provide hundreds of permanent operational jobs in Birmingham, including 300 jobs at a proposed rolling stock depot in Washwood Heath.

Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This is further evidence that people in Birmingham appreciate the positive impact High Speed Rail will have on our city.

“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, North and Scotland with London and Europe.

“The benefits for the UK, and specifically for Birmingham and the West Midlands, are clear – job creation, increased productivity and increases in average pay. We fully recognise the unique and essential role that HS2 can play in creating a successful and prosperous West Midlands.

Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, said:

“I am pleased the majority of people recognise the benefits that high speed rail would bring and that they can see beyond the sensationalist scaremongering of a vocal minority. These findings complement our own research which showed five times as many people in favour of the scheme as against it.

“A new high speed rail network would allow us to grasp a once-in-a-generation opportunity to re-shape Britain’s economic geography and ensure that every part of the country can share in future growth and prosperity.”

Cllr Whitby urged people in Birmingham to support the plans adding: “It's important that people in Birmingham make their voices heard. Support for High Speed Rail will bring new jobs and formidable opportunities to our city.”

Current proposals for High Speed Rail are for a Y-shaped route, connecting London with Birmingham and then branching off to Manchester and Leeds.

New stations will be built in the city centre, next to Birmingham’s Bullring and Moor Street station, and at Birmingham Airport/NEC.

The consultation runs until July 29. Visit the Department for Transport website to have your say: http://highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk/

Ends

Editor’s Notes:

1.    For more details please contact Go-HS2 Media Officer Richard Lakin on 0121 214 7195 or email richardlakin@centro.org.uk <mailto:richardlakin@centro.org.uk>

2.    Go-HS2 is an alliance of West Midlands businesses, business organisations and public sector bodies supporting High Speed Rail which includes Centro, the NEC Group, Birmingham Airport, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Business Birmingham, Birmingham City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

3.    Properties were surveyed in areas including Aston, Nechells, Hodgehill, Castle Vale and Washwood Heath.

4.    High Speed Rail will bring 22,000 jobs and £1.5bn increase in economic output per year to the West Midlands regional economy.

5.    High Speed Rail will also free-up capacity on existing lines in the West Midlands bringing an increase in the number of services to regional stations, including Wolverhampton, Coventry and Walsall.

6.    The High Speed network will run from London to Birmingham and then branch in a Y-shape onto Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh; and the East Midlands, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle.

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  1. H says:

    People of B’ham recognise good thing when they see it and are not easily misled by the misleading propoganda issued by opposers of HS2. Even with second best station in Fazeley St HS2 provides enermous journey time savings to London, liverpool Manchester Glasgow Edinburgh Paris etc.

  2. Robin Powell says:

    This possibly wins the award for Least Surprising Survey Result of the Year… And another example of the desperate measures to which the pro-high speed lobby are now resorting to hold back the tide of popular opinion. Of course we all know there are economic benefits for Birmingham businesses and homeowners. But what the majority of Midlanders who live outside Birmingham who’ll see investment diverted from existing rail services to pay for this white elephant? The impact of a new railway line is bound to be less in an urban area that it is in the countryside, in terms of noise pollution, harm to the environment and the general effect on quality of life. And of course high-speed trains departing from and arriving in Birmingham would be travelling at a relatively low speed… Spare a thought for those living along the route who’d have to put up with trains hurtling past at 250mph every three minutes!

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