HS2 boss to tell Economic Growth Conference 500,000 new jobs are 'just the beginning'

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The chairman of HS2 believes plans for nearly half a million new jobs and almost 90,000 new homes linked to the high speed railway are "just the beginning".

Sir Terry Morgan is expected to tell a conference in Birmingham that the benefits of the £55.7bn project are already being seen and will "continue to grow".

All the Yorkshire roads and motorways being closed or diverted for years of HS2 works
Figures compiled by HS2 show that growth plans for some of the regions to be served by the high speed trains feature 451,100 new jobs and 86,700 new homes.

The West Midlands alone is expecting to see 100,000 new jobs and 6,000 new homes linked to the railway.

In a speech to the HS2 Economic Growth Conference at the National Conference Centre, Sir Terry will say: "We are already seeing transformative plans coming forward from local authorities and businesses from around the country.

HS2 chairman Sir Terry Morgan – I will listen to Yorkshire’s concerns over high-speed rail but it is going ahead
"My experience says we'll see more, and this is only the beginning of the spread of wealth HS2 can bring by joining up Britain."

A spokesman for HS2 said the project is "being seen as an enabler" to attract more jobs, trade and house building while also improving local transport connections.

All the Yorkshire communities set to be bulldozed for HS2 development - and every road closure and delay
Phase 1 of the railway will open between London and Birmingham in December 2026.

A second Y-shaped phase of HS2 will launch in two stages.

Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe will begin in 2027, followed by Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to Leeds, in 2033.

HS2 trains will also serve locations on the existing mainline rail network, such as Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Legislation needed for Phase 2b is being delayed by 12 months, with a bill in Parliament not being tabled until 2020.

The Department for Transport said it is important the project "takes full account" of Northern Powerhouse Rail - a scheme to boost east-west rail connections across the region - and insisted Phase 2b "remains on track to open in 2033".