Business and political leaders from the North have today joined together to launch a campaign to speak with “one, united voice” and underline the importance of both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR).
Coinciding with the HS2 Economic Growth Conference taking place today and tomorrow in Leeds, the Connecting Britain campaign says that the North of England is overdue major investment into transport infrastructure – and a lack of investment is holding productivity back.
It argues that improving connections from the Midlands to the North will help support economic growth, improve productivity, boost jobs increase prosperity and support a transition to a low-carbon economy.
Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport lead, said: “Through Connecting Britain we are coming together to demonstrate our united support for the delivery of HS2 in full and integrated with Northern Powerhouse Rail as essential to achieving our growth ambitions for the North and the UK as a whole.
“Both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail are vital to address the poor transport links between cities in the North and Midlands which have acted as a significant break on our economies.”
Leader of Manchester City Council said: “A green light on HS2 and NPR in full would be a clear signal from the government that it recognises that historic underinvestment in strategic transport infrastructure outside London is a trend that must be reversed if all communities are to be levelled-up and regions rebalance.”