Business backs HS2 announcement

Jan 29, 2013


The project will create jobs, boost confidence and increase competitiveness, says the British Chambers of Commerce.
Bedfordshire Chamber chief executive Cheryl Smart (pictured) described the HS2 plan as “vital” to the UK’s economic prosperity. She added: “We welcome this project which will provide us with the beginnings of a 21s-century railway system comparable to those of our international competitors.”
BCC director of policy Dr Adam Marshall called for ministers to move swiftly to progress the plan and wants to see a full national high-speed network.
He said: “Our existing railway network is at capacity and cannot be endlessly patched up at astronomical cost, as opponents of HS2 continue to suggest.
“Yet we hope ministers can go further still. Alongside the commitment to extend the line to Manchester and Leeds, they must envision and plan for a full national network. They must also reassure business communities in cities off the high-speed network that conventional lines will continue to carry good-quality services for both passengers and freight.”
The BCC voiced concern that the rail link to London Heathrow airport had been put on hold. Dr Marshall said: “Business is concerned at the news that the proposed link to Britain’s only global hub airport, Heathrow, has been put on hold. This is an unwelcome consequence of the government’s near-complete paralysis on the crucial issue of aviation and global connectivity.”
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