From: David Ainsworth, President, City Property Association; Martin McKervey, Chairman, Sheffield Property Association; Craig McWilliam, Chair, Westminster Property Association.
WHILST the fate of HS2 will not be known until after the General Election, from what has been trailed by the media from Douglas Oakervee’s independent review, it would appear that responses have largely united behind this major infrastructure project.
Yes, HS2 comes at huge cost both in terms of price tag and disruption. These are unavoidable risks with nationally important transport investment. But the cost of scaling back our ambition is even greater.
During the election campaign, there has been much talk about spreading the fruits of economic growth across the country. We firmly believe that HS2 is key to that aspiration.
As well as providing additional capacity across the country’s rail network for passengers and freight, HS2 would act as both an instigator and enabler of regeneration and economic growth across large swathes of the country. It will deliver additional homes, workspaces and associated infrastructure.
There would be long-term benefits for regions across the country. Indeed, HS2 could benefit cities in the north and Midlands more than London because of improved connections on intercity lines, such as the halving of journey times between Birmingham and Leeds.
Combined our three associations represent 500 of the leading investors, developers and related property professional services operating in Central London and Sheffield.
Improving UK-wide connectivity is essential for enabling regions to grow their own economies, capitalise on London’s status as a global city, as well as the immense talent of people and skills throughout the regions.
HS2 needs to be delivered in full, connecting Euston with Sheffield and their neighbouring regions and cities. It will create a ‘groundswell’ of infrastructure that delivers additional UK-wide investment.
If the next Government is serious about growing the economy nationally and bringing the country together, it should invest in infrastructure and back HS2 to the fullest extent.
From: Thomas Reed, Harrogate.
IT is curious that Boris Johnson has said little on HS2 since it was suggested that high-speed rail would benefit the North.
I hope that he clarifies his position in his party’s election manifesto.