James Newman: The strategic case for HS2 (long version)
Well I think the north and the Sheffield City region needs to be connected with London. It needs to be connected not only with London but also with other cities, and this will substantially help that whole process. HS2’s about capacity and the growth of the rail industry over the last ten or 15 years, even with recessions, has demonstrated that we need the additional capacity. It will bring procurement benefits, I think, in terms of construction jobs. We are an industrial-based region and therefore hopefully a lot of the steel and a lot of the engineering will be done in the Sheffield City region.
When the line is up and running, private sector investment is more likely to come north than just remain in the south. We will have the skills base that we perhaps have not had before. We see the benefits very clear, if we can be connected to the capital city, and that you have to invest to improve or to capitalise on the opportunities. And now is the time that we need to do that.
Published 7 November 2013