HIGH SPEED rail links could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create jobs in the North but only if the Government and councils act quickly, according to a new report.
Echoing the famous line from the film Field of Dreams, Lord Deighton, the chairman of the HS2 Growth Taskforce, warns against a “build it and they will come” attitude to the new line which will carry trains at up to 250mph between London and Yorkshire.
The taskforce’s report, published this morning, makes a string of recommendations ranging from a new Minister for HS2 regeneration to including the project in school lessons.
Lord Deighton writes: “Our conclusion is that HS2 could be much more than a railway. It could be a once in a lifetime opportunity – particularly for our cities in the Midlands and the North – to deliver jobs and growth.”
The HS2 Growth Taskforce was commissioned by the Government to find ways of maximising the economic impact of the controversial £50bn project due to reach Yorkshire in 2032.
Taskforce member Coun Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council, which is pushing for a station in the city centre rather than at Meadowhall, said: “If done properly, high speed rail stations can be a catalyst for growth.”