HS2 must be a catalyst for jobs growth for all of the North
19 July 2019
Responding to a call in by HS2 Ltd chairman Sir David Higgins today for local leaders to ensure the benefits of high-speed rail are spread beyond the areas surrounding HS2 stations, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said:
"Sir David Higgins is right to highlight the need to fully integrate HS2 with the emerging plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail to ensure all parts of the North of England have access to high speed rail services.
"HS2 must be a catalyst for jobs growth, inward investment and higher skills in addition to delivering faster journey times and through its integration with a northern high speed network and connections to our towns and cities this can be achieved."
In HS2: Realising the potential his report final report as chairman of HS2 Ltd, launched in Leeds today, Sir David says that 90 Yorkshire firms have already worked on the project and that a further 277 local companies are investigating about how they can become contractors and suppliers for the 15-year scheme.
Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and Member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: "Sir David's call to maximise the impact of this project at a local and regional level is in lockstep with the Combined Authority's work examining the best ways to integrate HS2 into regional transport links to bring the benefits of economic growth to all our communities.
"We have set out a strategy to deliver almost 150,000 jobs across the City Region as HS2 unlocks new business opportunities, creates high-skilled jobs, spurs regeneration and attracts investment."
Sir David's report also calls for train fares to be made simpler to encourage more people to travel by rail and looks at the possible extensions of HS2 into Scotland, via the East Coast Main Line through York, Darlington and Newcastle.