Dear Editor, It was disappointing to read about the legal hearing scheduled for December (Court date welcomed as councils challenge DfT on HS2 findings Post August 2) that will further undermine and delay HS2.
This latest challenge to the DfT is not useful in advancing the objective of making HS2 a reality. Clearly every stage of the process must be transparent and due process must be followed. Birmingham Forward and Future are strong advocates and supporters for HS2 – however, it is important that those with differing views to ours should receive the same levels of respect and engagement within the consultation process of those of us supporting the proposal.
That however, does not detract from the growing sense of frustration among our members that this project, which we believe is a vital component in securing the region’s continued economic prosperity, continues to be fraught with delays and barriers frustrating the delivery of HS2.
This is a large scale project and therefore deserves to be analysed, scrutinised and debated to ensure that it delivers in the widest possible context for the region and the UK as a whole particularly given the financial commitment is so high. Birmingham Forward and Future believe that this project is worth the investment.
The professional and financial services sector is a major driver for economic growth and we believe passionately that our capacity to create wealth and jobs depends on effective transportation links. The HS2 proposal is a significant component to achieving that goal.
We operate in a global marketplace where links and connections are key factors to success. Our European neighbours are investing heavily in their transport infrastructure including high speed rail and consequently we cannot afford to fall behind in either a practical or reputational sense.
It is easy to perceive that HS2 is simply about saving journey time on current services to London. But HS2 will deliver so much more. It will provide more effective links to the north and south whilst contributing significantly to the main issue, the reduction of the increasing pressure on rail capacity. Added to this are the economic benefits of the construction including the job creation that will result from this project and the important signal that we send out to the global marketplace – we are investing in our infrastructure and we are open for business.
HS2 will deliver transformational change – it’s time to start delivering on the potential.
Peter Rees Steer