Commenting on the written ministerial statement on HS2 by the Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Spicer, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce said:
“Business communities up and down the country will be disappointed at the prospect of having to wait longer to see the benefits of this vital project. Yet we remain confident the long-term benefits will be felt for generations, and will far outweigh the upfront costs.
“Of course, no project should have a blank cheque, but HS2 is a critical investment in the UK’s future. The UK’s rail network is at capacity, with the full range of passenger and freight services sharing the same tracks and vying for priority. That’s why businesses – faced with ever-more unreliable services and overcrowding – recognise and support the strong economic case to deliver all phases of HS2.
“There are communities and investors basing future development plans and regeneration schemes around HS2. Many jobs have already been created in advance of its anticipated completion, and many thousands more will be created in the future.
“HS2 is critical to Northern Powerhouse Rail and other infrastructure projects that will transform connectivity for local communities, get freight off the roads, and link up the country as a whole. The start-stop approach to big infrastructure initiatives in the UK only serves to make it more difficult and expensive to provide better services to our towns and cities. It’s time to get on and deliver.”