Confirmation today (November 15) that plans for an East Midlands HS2 route – which would pass through the D2N2 area, bringing major economic benefits – will be taken forward by Government, have been warmly welcomed by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Proposals for Phase 2 of the national HS2 high speed rail network include a western leg (Crewe to Manchester) and an eastern leg (West Midlands to Leeds).
The Department for Transport has today confirmed the Phase 2 proposals (with some realignment) will be taken forward as its preferred route and will be safeguarded for future planning purposes. This will include putting in place a statutory compensation regime for properties directly affected.
The D2N2 LEP has welcomed route plans for its area including a regional HS2 ‘rail hub’ at Toton, Nottinghamshire, (a concept design is pictured above) and a network maintenance depot at Staveley, near Chesterfield, as part of the eastern leg; and the associated benefits the western leg of Phase 2 (towards Manchester) will also bring to north Derbyshire.
Government has said there will need to be extensive public consultation on the proposed route through the East Midlands but, if it receives planning permission, it is currently planned for trains to be operating on it in 2033.
More than 30 representatives from the region’s local authorities, businesses and Local Enterprise Partnerships – including D2N2 – have already formed an East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board; to ensure the area reaps the maximum employment, skills, economic and development benefits associated with the eastern leg route’s development. The Board is chaired by Nottingham City Council Leader, Councillor Jon Collins.
The East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board will formally launch its initial East Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy report on Friday (November 18), detailing those anticipated benefits. They include:
- the creation of 74,000 (direct and indirect) jobs;
- £4billion GVA (or gross value added, the official measure of the value of goods and services an area produces) added to the East Midlands’ economy by 2042, around ten years after it is expected that trains will begin running on the HS2 route;
- an HS2 regional ‘rail hub’ at existing rail land at Toton, Nottinghamshire, with four ordinary rail platforms and two high-speed through lines, plus associated commercial and housing development;
- a regional HS2 maintenance depot at Staveley, five miles north-east of Chesterfield, to serve Midlands’ HS2 lines, which would support up to 800 new jobs onsite;
- greater connectivity to London and to the north.
Peter Richardson, Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and a member of the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board, said today: “We and our partners have campaigned hard for this decision, clearly spelling out the strong economic case for this proposed route through the East Midlands, and Government has listened.
“This is just the beginning. It is now vital that there is wide consultation on the HS2 route with businesses, local authorities and communities in the region to develop a more comprehensive Growth Strategy; ensuring everyone in the area benefits from this once in a generation development opportunity.”
As part of his announcement today Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has also awarded a further £625,000 to the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board, to further develop its Growth Strategy around the HS2 eastern leg.
Councillor Jon Collins, Chair of the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board and Leader of Nottingham City Council, added: “I am delighted about today’s announcement. HS2 will transform connectivity between our local economies and those of the West Midlands, the North of England and Scotland, as well as London and the South East.
“It will open up new opportunities for jobs and growth, including in our world class rail engineering sector and for firms working in the construction industry. There is also the potential to run high speed trains from Leicester via the Hub Station to Leeds and Manchester, provided that the Midland Main Line is electrified.”
Councillor Anne Western, Vice-Chair of the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board and Leader of Derbyshire County Council, said: “The proposals for serving Chesterfield Station with high speed trains is a game-changer for the Derbyshire economy. As a result journey times to London will be reduced to just 71 minutes, supporting growth and investment in the town and boosting our vibrant visitor economy.
“Together with the maintenance depot of Staveley, HS2 will significantly improve job opportunities for local people. We’re continuing to work with HS2 Ltd to maximise the economic benefit, while minimising the disruption to communities and making sure we get the best possible outcome for Derbyshire residents, businesses and others along the route.”
Today’s Department for Transport announcement can be found on the Gov.Uk website HERE.
For more on the work of the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board see website www.emcouncils.gov.uk/HS2-Strategic-Board and to learn more about the HS2 network see Government website www.gov.uk/government/organisations/high-speed-two-limited
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