Core Cities Group has welcomed today’s announcement on High Speed Rail (HSR) from Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Transport, which gives the go-ahead for the first phase of the scheme from London to Birmingham, High Speed 2 (HS2).
The eight Core Cities (Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield) support a full national network of HSR, linked to improved electrification of major inter-city routes. The Core Cities see this investment as a central component of a coherent national rail and wider infrastructure strategy to: release capacity; rebalance the economy; and support growth in important economic sectors, which would otherwise be constrained through a lack of connectivity.
The success of HSR and HS2 will also rely on improvements in local transport networks, which are critical to achieving economic growth. The Core Cities eight wider urban areas already deliver 27% of England’s economic output. With infrastructure investment of this nature and increased freedoms, independent forecasts demonstrate they can achieve much more.
Chris Murray, Director of the Core Cities Group said:
“If the UK wants to remain a competitive place to do business, it must invest in its infrastructure and think big about the future of our economy. HSR represents an opportunity to generate long term private sector growth and jobs across the whole of the UK, reshaping the national economy to do more, by helping businesses to thrive in and around our major urban centres.”