Thank you for asking me along today.
I’m genuinely delighted to be here because what you’ve achieved with this new chord really matters. And let me tell you why.
You see, today we earn our living in a global marketplace - one where what we sell in Boston or Shanghai is just as important as what we make in Bristol or Sheffield.
Which means that rail freight is more important than it’s ever been.
Moving products and raw materials quickly and reliably - that’s how you power up the recovery and grow the economy.
Economic sense, environmental sense
So although this new chord isn’t massive in scale like Crossrail or HS2, it’s certainly a big deal.
An investment worth more than £25 million.
An investment that will allow freight traffic to travel through Nuneaton station, without affecting passenger services.
An investment that means better and faster links between the global gateway of Felixstowe and the Midlands, the north west and Scotland.
So this new chord makes sound economic sense.
But when you consider the chord’s potential to cut carbon emissions and ease traffic congestion by attracting freight from road to rail, then it soon becomes obvious that it makes environmental sense too.
Conclusions - right investment, right project, right reasons
Add all that up and what you have is the right investment, in the right project, for the right reasons.
So, before I finish I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who made this possible.
You have done a terrific job of work and, if I had a hat, I’d take it off to you.
And on that note it is now my absolute pleasure to declare the Nuneaton North Chord officially open (minister unveils plaque).