A letter has been sent to Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson, MP, in support of the HS2 project.
The letter was signed by 19 of the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the Midlands and in the North that has been working hard with partners across the private, public and academic sectors to support their local economies to grow.
Whilst already achieving much, the potential for further economic growth, productivity gains and improvements in standards of living is considerable.
HS2 would unleash this potential; transforming towns, cities and communities. The LEPs urge the Prime Minister to commit to the full HS2 network without further delay.
HS2 offers a once in a generation opportunity to level up the country’s economy. Significantly cutting journey times will redraw the economic map of the Midlands and the North, allowing jobs, investment and opportunity to flow through the regions.
HS2 will provide urgently needed capacity on the rail network; enabling people and businesses all over the UK to benefit from more frequent and reliable trains. When combined with promised investments in Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Engine Rail, it will create a network fit for the 21st century, unlocking significant growth, increasing productivity and enabling us to compete in the global economy.
The environmental benefits of HS2 should also not be underestimated. At a time when many local authority partners have declared a climate emergency, HS2 will encourage people and freight to move to low carbon train travel.
These are not theoretical, future gains. The benefits of HS2 are being felt now. Across the Midlands and the North, jobs have been created, businesses have decided to invest, families have moved home and apprentices have started new careers, all on the back of HS2.
The letter concludes with the acknowledgement that HS2 has its challenges and that costs need to be kept under control. However, the benefits are so significant and underpin the growth plans of all the regions LEPs that it is essential the project is backed in full and this opportunity is seized to level up the economy and change the lives and prospects of communities and businesses across the country.
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