Transport Minister Baroness Kramer was in the East Midlands today (15 April 2014) to find out more about how HS2 will benefit the region.
She toured the proposed line of route, including Long Eaton and Toton, and met with D2N2, the region’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Baroness Kramer said:
HS2 will spur economic growth across the whole country, creating new opportunities that places like Derby and Nottingham will benefit from. With its strong railway and engineering heritage the East Midlands will undoubtedly be involved in the construction and operation of the largest construction project of our generation.
The LEP, D2N2, is working with HS2 Ltd to maximise the benefits of HS2, and we are working with local communities and leaders to mitigate the problems that inevitably come with a project of this scale.
David Ralph, Chief Executive of D2N2, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, said:
D2N2 is unequivocal in its support for HS2 and cannot overstate the importance of certainty being established for the earliest possible delivery of the eastern leg of Phase Two.
Also, given the region’s 175 year history in manufacturing excellence in the rail industry, winning the competition to host the new HS2 College would be a real boost. We are looking forward to sharing our views on this with Baroness Kramer.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is an important partner to delivering economic growth across the D2N2 area and the importance of strategic projects such as the electrification of Midland Mainline, the smart motorway and the A453 are currently being delivered.
Securing DfT’s support for local D2N2 priorities such as the Newark Southern Relief Road, Sherwood Growth Corridor in Mansfield, Chesterfield Town Centre and the Harworth Bircotes transport improvements as well as accelerating delivery of the eastern leg of HS2, is also of upmost importance.
It is estimated that HS2 could boost productivity in Derby, Nottingham and the surrounding region by up to £2.2 billion per year within five years of the railway opening.
A new hub station at Toton would be incredibly well connected with a fast and frequent shuttle service linking Derby and Nottingham to the station. Journey time to and from London will be just 51 minutes from the East Midlands hub, while the stations in Leeds, Sheffield, East Midlands and Birmingham will each be less than 20 minutes apart, making daily commuting easy.
There is massive potential for regeneration around the proposed station sites and last month’s HS2 Growth Taskforce report called for planning to begin now. Combined with the current programme of electrification across the north, this improved connectivity will unlock the enormous potential and opportunities that cities like Derby and Nottingham have to offer – making them more attractive places to locate and do business.
The consultation on the Phase Two route, stations and depots closed on 31 January 2014 and the government will announce a decision on the final route by the end of this year.