Thursday 18 November 2021
Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said:
“The Government’s confirmation of the scrapping of the HS2 Leeds extension today has effectively rendered the entire project pointless. Without both northern extensions and without integration to the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ railway, HS2 has become an underpowered project of limited value for the UK and the regions it was meant to benefit most. This watered-down proposal is not just a blow to the North, it is a betrayal of the much-hyped Levelling Up agenda. We are all in this together and the UK’s transport network is vital to the country’s future economic growth and prosperity.
“It is hugely disappointing that after the positive announcement of a new Export Strategy yesterday, the Government’s commitment to invest in productivity gains for the future has been compromised. Coming right off the heels of COP26, today’s announcement that moves the country away from infrastructure projects that deliver a more sustainable future for British transport is especially disconcerting. It is difficult to understand how the Government expects the UK to compete globally with the most advanced economies when we cannot deliver decent connectivity between our own cities. Delivering a ‘high-wage’ economy, which the Prime Minister has made a stated aim, will require significant investments. The Integrated Rail Plan published today falls well short of what is needed to deliver the infrastructure necessary to secure Britain’s economic future.”