News | Published June 27 2019

Businesses push for HS2 completion

Business leaders have written an open letter calling for the completion of the HS2 railway.

In a letter addressed to the prime minister, more than 20 business leaders asserted continued government backing for the £56 billion high-speed rail network project is vital.

The open letter was signed by business groups, including the CBI, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Businesses, the British Chambers of Commerce, London First and Business Improvement Districts across the UK.

Construction of the HS2  which aims to link the Midlands, Wales, Northern England and Scotland to London  began in 2017.

While the first phase of the railway is due to open in December 2026, business leaders are concerned that the recent change in prime minister will lead to the HS2 not being completed.

Among other things, the letter read: "The current poor connectivity in the North is a major obstacle to encouraging companies from growing in the region and is a barrier to inward investment."

Despite record foreign investment in the West Midlands, others have warned that it does not offer value for money.

It was further alleged that development of the HS2 risks “short-changing” the north of England.

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee said the project should not go ahead without a new assessment of its costs and benefits.

The Department for Transport has said: "HS2 is well under way, with over 9,000 people and 2,000 businesses working on delivering the project right now. It will significantly improve connections between our largest cities, create extra capacity across our rail network and release."

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The Parliamentary Review

June 27 2019

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