PM Launches High Speed Rail in Birmingham

By on 11/03/2010 in News, Video News

Gordon Brown visited Birmingham today to officially launch a Government White Paper on the future of High Speed Rail in the UK.

Confirming that the London to Birmingham leg of the network will be the first to be developed, and run to a new station in the Eastside area, Mr Brown said High Speed Rail would bring great benefits to the city.

Greeting the Prime Minister on the site where the new station will be, Leader of Birmingham City Council, Mike Whitby, said:

“Birmingham City Council is up for the challenge of delivering High Speed Rail and keen to work with all partners to make this vision a reality without delay.

“In particular we are eager to explore the possibility of using new funding mechanisms, like Accelerated Development Zones, and want to ensure this is a project which drives benefits not just for Birmingham but for the wider City Region as well.

“There is no doubt that High Speed Rail represents a significant step-change in the nation’s transport infrastructure, and I am delighted that this journey will begin with a route between Birmingham and London – which could lead to new stations in Birmingham City Centre and Birmingham International Airport/National Exhibition Centre. 

“For Birmingham High Speed Rail will be transformational. The economic impact alone will be formidable – conservatively estimated to be around £1.2bn - whilst the reputational enhancement will be considerable. It will be a vital weapon in our arsenal as we look to compete with Europe's leading cities, many of which already benefit from similar infrastructure.

“It is vital, therefore, that we work closely in partnership with government to develop and forward the high speed rail proposals. Funding is obviously going to be a challenging topic to tackle, and we know that Government will look to a wide range of partners to meet the demand. “

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