IT cannot be reiterated too often how vital HS2 is the future prosperity of Yorkshire and the north, and in a week when the results of the review into the railway’s future are due to be announced, the point needs to made once again.
This is a truly transformative project that holds out the prospect of creating thousands of new jobs and boosting our region’s economy by billions of pounds.
It would help to reverse decades of unfairness in the allocation of transport investment and put Yorkshire in the strongest possible position to forge ahead into the future.
That would not only be the greatest of prizes for Yorkshire, but for the whole of Britain, as emphasised by today’s intervention by the London Property Alliance.
It believes that building HS2 in its entirety sends the most positive of messages to investors that Britain is serious about transforming its infrastructure.
This needs to go hand-in-hand with a focus on developing Yorkshire’s talents on the broadest possible front.
Lord Jim O’Neill, a good friend to the north, is surely correct in his assertion that improving education at all levels is of key importance, but that in itself does not outweigh the necessity of delivering HS2.
There is no reason why our region should settle for a choice between better education and infrastructure fit for the 21st century.
The two complement each other and delivering both is achievable.
Yorkshire has struggled for far too long with a rail network that in essence dates from the Victorian era and which creaks even more with every passing year.
It is holding us back, and that cannot be allowed to continue any longer.
From our region’s perspective, the building of HS2 is non-negotiable.
The people of the North deserve nothing less and it must go ahead.