The announcement today (July 17) of the final HS2 high speed rail recommended route through Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire has been welcomed by the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board – of which the D2N2 LEP is a member.
Significant announcements on the HS2 high speed rail network project made today by Government have included:
- Naming of the companies to be awarded the HS2 Phase One (the line from London to the West Midlands) major construction contracts, valued at around £6.6billion and set to support an estimated 16,000 jobs.
- Publication of the Parliamentary Bill to provide the powers to build and operate part of Phase 2 of HS2 – line Phase 2a, or the ‘western leg’ – from the West Midlands to the West Coast Main Line south of Crewe.
The Government has also confirmed a further stage of the Phase 2a route, from Crewe to Manchester, and the Phase 2b route from West Midlands to Leeds – the so-called ‘eastern leg’ – which will both pass through part of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership area (covering Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire). The Phase 2b route includes plans for an East Midlands rail ‘hub’ at Toton, in Nottinghamshire, and an HS2 station and maintenance depot at Staveley, north Derbyshire, with a link via Chesterfield.
The East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board – a partnership of the region’s local authorities, businesses and LEPs (including the D2N2 LEP) – has been formed to ensure the area reaps the maximum economic benefits associated with the eastern leg’s development.
It launched its initial Growth Strategy Report last November (2016), in which it detailed some of the benefits the East Midlands is set to receive from HS2, including:
- the creation of 74,000 (direct and indirect) jobs;
- £4billion GVA (gross value added, the measure of the value of goods and services an area produces) added to the East Midlands’ economy by 2042.
After extensive consultation with East Midlands’ business and other communities, a more detailed Growth Strategy Report is due to be submitted to Government this summer (2017).
Commenting on today’s announcement, Councillor Jon Collins, Nottingham City Council Leader and Chair of the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board said: “Today’s announcements are great news for the East Midlands. HS2 will mean more and better jobs for local people, less overcrowded trains and much quicker journey times to key destinations.
“The Hub Station at Toton will be the most connected high speed station outside London, and has the potential to be an inspiring 21st century gateway to the East Midlands and a destination in its own right. We now need to make sure the Government gets on with building the eastern leg to Leeds as soon as possible and that HS2 does not stop at Birmingham.”
David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 LEP, added: “As the LEP for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire we support HS2 as a potential game-changer for the East Midlands economy.
“Greater connectivity and shorter journey times, and the associated development which will occur along the line, will both mean economic and jobs growth in the LEP’s area and wider region.
“Today’s announcements are great news. Now we need to get on with making the vision a reality.”
Following today’s announcement the Government will start work on the ‘Phase 2b Hybrid Bill’ to enable the route to Leeds to be built, which is due to be introduced to Parliament in late 2019.
The HS2 Phase 2b line through the D2N2 LEP area, on the current schedule, is planned to be completed and fully operational by 2033; although local partners are keen for the East Midlands Hub Station to be open by 2030.
For more information on HS2, visit its website at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/high-speed-two-limited
For more information on the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board, visit www.emcouncils.gov.uk/HS2-Strategic-Board
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