Following the release this morning of a report by the National Audit Office into the Government’s plans for a high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham (HS2 phase one), David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “HS2 is a vital piece of much-needed infrastructure and we want to see it not only happen, but happen as soon as possible.
“What is clear is that the benefits-to-cost ratio are significantly higher for the second phase, which will see trains running north of Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, which will affect the East Midlands, which further illustrates and adds more weight to the early delivery of the second phase of HS2 as this will strengthen passenger numbers and boost the case for this level of investment.
“We expect a challenging timetable to make HS2 happen and it is paramount that timetable is met – not pushed back.
“We will continue to work closely with the Department for Transport on the details and delivery as it is a critical piece of infrastructure that needs to be built – and the sooner the better.
“Unfortunately, the UK has often had a stop-start philosophy to major infrastructure projects but what businesses need is confidence and certainty and that has to happen with HS2.
“It will service the UK and create jobs in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area, as well as accelerate economic growth. It will also increase connectivity for residents, workers and visitors to key cities and communities.
“High-speed rail is already long overdue. If we want our businesses to compete in today’s global economy, we need quicker, more reliable connections to markets, suppliers and labour sources; and that’s precisely what HS2 will deliver.
“Now further weight has been added to the delivery of the second phase of HS2 as quickly as possible to make the whole project more economically viable.”