A green light on HS2 and NPR is ‘critical to the long term success of the UK and all its parts’, says new campaign

Business and political leaders have joined together to launch Connecting Britain, a campaign to speak with one, united voice and underline the importance of the full delivery of both HS2 and NPR for communities throughout the North of England.

Business and political leaders from the North have today joined together to launch Connecting Britain, a campaign to speak with one, united voice and underline the importance of the full delivery of both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) for communities throughout the North of England. This follows the Government announcement of an independent review of HS2.

Holding back productivity

Coinciding with the HS2 Economic Growth Conference taking place today and tomorrow in Leeds, the campaign says that the North is overdue major investment into transport infrastructure – and a lack of investment is holding productivity back.

Connecting Britain argues that transforming connectivity from the Midlands to the North, will help support economic growth, improve productivity, boost jobs and skills, increase prosperity and support a transition to a low-carbon economy.

United support

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.”

Transformative impact

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: “HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, with a line through Bradford City Centre, can together have a transformative impact on the economic prospects of the North and Midlands.

Connecting Britain will make the positive case for investing in both HS2 and NPR for the benefit of all our communities and to help rebalance the UK economy.”

Clear signal

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and campaign partner of Connecting Britain 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 rebalanced.

“We will work with the government and the Oakervee Review into HS2, to demonstrate the strength of the economic case for the full and timely delivery of HS2 fully integrated with NPR and other complementary infrastructure schemes in the North and Midlands.

“For the North, it’s not either HS2 or NPR, it’s both.”

Chambers of Commerce from across the North, who are backing the campaign, have reiterated the importance of how HS2 and NPR could be for the transformation of the North and its businesses.

Find out more from the Connecting Britain website.