Transport Minister Baroness Kramer was in Yorkshire today (Friday 28 March) to find out more about how HS2 will benefit the region.
Baroness Kramer toured the route through the south of the county. She also met with local businesses set to benefit from the new north-south railway at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham. The minister met with small technology company Xeros, an example of a business set to benefit from HS2.
Yesterday (Thursday 27 March) she visited the proposed site of the Leeds New Lane station, before heading on to several points on the line including Church Fenton and Woodlesford.
Baroness Kramer said:
HS2 is a vital part of our long-term economic plan. Not only will it link our northern cities and provide the extra space we need on our rail network, it will also provide and safeguard tens of thousands of jobs, giving people economic security for the future.
I was pleased to visit Yorkshire to hear more about the benefits for the region and to see how we could best mitigate the impact of the route on local communities and the environment.
James Newman Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership said:
The LEP was pleased to welcome Transport Minister Baroness Kramer to the Sheffield City Region today to discuss the benefits of HS2 for businesses in the City Region, and to talk about how the LEP aims to maximise its potential.
HS2 is a central part of our ‘Growth plan’, and integrating it with existing and future transport services will be a critical part of ensuring we maximise economic benefits and jobs.
Roger Marsh Chair of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership said:
I was delighted to meet with Baroness Kramer this week to represent the excitement and opportunity HS2 will bring to the City Region. It was important to raise the challenges we face in making sure the local transport networks are ready and fit for purpose, to ensure that other cities and towns in the region will get the maximum economic and connectivity benefit.
With the deadline for our ‘Strategic economic plan’ on Monday, it is vital we champion the potential of the City Region to deliver above national trend economic growth and become a significant net contributor to the national economy by 2021.
It is estimated that HS2 could boost South Yorkshire’s economy by up to £0.9 billion every year, and West Yorkshire’s by £1 billion.
With a proposed new station at Leeds New Lane, journey times from the city to Birmingham will be slashed to 57 minutes from 1 hour 58 minutes and it will be 50 minutes quicker to get to London. The proposed station at Sheffield Meadowhall would benefit from excellent existing transport links, bringing the benefits of HS2 to the South Yorkshire region.
The proposed stations in Leeds, Sheffield, East Midlands and Birmingham will each be separated by a journey of less than 20 minutes, making daily commuting easy. There is massive potential for regeneration around the proposed station sites and last week’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 Sheffield and Leeds 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 and the government will announce a decision on the final route by the end of this year.