Wednesday 4 October 2023
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Head of Policy and Public Impact, James Watkins, in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement at the Conservative Party that HS2 from Birmingham to Manchester will be scrapped said:
“With the announcement to cut the HS2 leg between Birmingham to Manchester, the ability for Manchester to benefit from economic growth in London will be impaired by this decision. Businesses in the capital expected a high speed rail link that would boost productivity and growth not just for London but for the Midlands and the North West. While the Prime Minister states that the money saved can be used for new rail connections in the North West, our discussions with Manchester City Council has indicated that this is easier said than done and that up front costs may lead to the same delays that we previously saw with HS2. This decision also means that the long awaited plans to relieve capacity on the West Coast Mainline has been lost – which can lead to future rail delays for London travelers and all people who use this rail line across the country. As we look ahead to the Labour Party conference, we await to see if Shadow Ministers will commit to HS2 from London to Manchester”.
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