Response to the Prime Minister’s announcement that HS2 will go ahead
"HS2 is a critical component of our established plans to transform the region, so we very much welcome the government’s go-ahead to deliver the project in full," says Cllr Judith Blake
Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement today (11 February) that HS2 will go ahead, Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Lead, said:
“HS2 is a critical component of our established plans to transform the region, so we very much welcome the government’s go-ahead to deliver the project in full today. The eastern leg alone would be worth £600 million in annual benefits to the UK economy.
“We look forward to working with the government on the review of the eastern leg, with work then starting as soon as possible to deliver it for the benefit of all our communities.
“In looking again at the project which the Prime Minister referenced, we have our own plans and ideas to improve the eastern leg and allow it to be delivered faster which we would be keen to discuss with him and the new HS2 Minister.
“We remain unequivocal in our clear commitment that HS2 needs to be delivered in full as part of an integrated network with Northern Powerhouse Rail from Liverpool to Hull with improved connectivity to south and east Yorkshire, as well as an upgraded trans-Pennine route to truly transform connectivity, attract investment, and level-up communities across the north and the whole of the country.”
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: “The Government has committed to investing in the North and overhauling the way Whitehall evaluates the potential benefits of major projects to ensure regions like ours do not lose out. The decisions taken on Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 in the coming months will be a significant early test of that commitment.
“The UK needs both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail with a line through Bradford city centre, an upgraded trans-Pennine route and improved resilience on the East Coast Main Line, to rebalance the economy and address the poor transport links between cities in the North and Midlands.”