D2N2 LEP Chief Executive David Ralph
On the subject of the planned HS2 high-speed rail link, D2N2 LEP Chief Executive David Ralph said: “The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Board is united in its unequivocal support for the earliest possible delivery of HS2 and the provision of a station in the East Midlands.
“The development of High Speed Rail is a one-off opportunity to boost the economy, increasing access to markets in other connected cities and helping them to become more efficient and competitive.
“As well as almost halving journey times to London, new services from the East Midlands station will significantly cut journey times to the centre of Birmingham, to Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle and beyond. The D2N2 area will also directly benefit from the improved connectivity brought about by HS2’s Phase Two Western leg, with proposed stations at Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly.
“The ongoing consultation is most welcome. The proposals are underpinned by a strong economic case demonstrating how it will support businesses throughout the D2N2 area, helping them to expand, grow and rebalance the economy, and we understand further figures will be released shortly.
“D2N2 will be working with all our local partners to ensure HS2 will be a catalyst for regeneration and seek to maximise the opportunity that an East Midlands station brings. We appreciate there will be negative impacts for some residents and businesses, and therefore we continue to urge appropriate mitigation to be put in place, but we consider the wider opportunities to the whole of the D2N2 economy are best realised through the earliest possible completion of the route and by accelerating delivery of Phase Two.
“We will therefore be doing all we can to bring HS2 forward as soon as possible using local companies to provide and maximise connectivity and economic value of a new station and services.
“For example, HS2 will need to build on the essential programmed upgrading and electrification of the Midland Mainline and allow many existing services to be enhanced, with new rolling stock, improving the connectivity of destinations not directly served by HS2.”