Long Time To Wait For Hs2
Thursday, 12 January 2012
Alistair Andrew, Associate at GVA's Leeds office, welcomes the Government's decision to press ahead with High Speed 2 to improve journey times between Leeds and London but urges ministers to push through the necessary legislation as quick as possible.
"This is a landmark decision which can only benefit industry in the North of England. Shaving an hour off journey times to the capital and the increase in passenger capacity this connection will bring can only encourage business growth north of London.
"The benefits of High Speed 2 to the region's economic growth are clear and, when it eventually becomes a reality in 2032, it will ensure that Leeds remains and grows as one of the UK's major places to do business.
"What is frustrating though is the length of time until the section connecting Leeds will take to finish and it has been reported that it will take two years until the decision is written into legislation. By then the country will be on the verge of another general election and there is a risk that HS2 could be sacrificed or postponed by a new government.
"There is also concern that the project's delivery will be delayed by legal challenges.
"Ultimately, it is hard to see how business confidence can immediately flourish on the back of this announcement. Twenty years is a long time to wait and business confidence needs lifting in the short term.
"In the meantime, the Government must take steps to stimulate business growth by pursuing the Northern Hub rail investment project to improve the rail links between Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield. The Hub would deliver a far greater impact than HS2 to businesses in the short term."
Alistair added that government investment in high speed 4G and fibre optic internet connections, in tandem with dramatically improved rail links with the capital and major cities in the North of England would hand businesses a huge generational boost.
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Issued on behalf of GVA by Beattie Communications.
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