Small businesses in Birmingham do not back the HS2 rail link and do not believe it will be a boost to business, according to a new survey.
A study of 2,000 small businesses by outsourcing marketplace Freelancer.co.uk, found 66 per cent of businesses in the city do not feel HS2 will help to grow their businesses or do anything to rebalance the economy away from the South East.
The survey also found businesses believe the huge cost of the scheme would be better spent supporting businesses directly in the city, rather than infrastructure companies and train manufacturers.
A large proportion of respondents also felt the Government has failed to back new technology that enables businesses to grow and trade across the internet.
Sixty four per cent respondents said high-speed internet access and e-commerce sites had done more for their businesses than the costly high-speed rail link will do.
And an overwhelming majority, almost 85 per cent, believed the rail link would not improve communication.
“The survey finds that the high speed rail link is nothing more than a vanity project for the Government, with highly questionable benefits to the business community in the cities it will be connecting,” said Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer.co.uk.
“High speed internet access has done more for Birmingham and the West Midlands than the colossal cost of building the high-speed rail link will ever do.
“Email marketing, ecommerce sites, and Skype are saving business time and money and boosting their bottom line already. What exactly, these business are asking, will the high speed rail bring except higher rail fares?”