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Midlands growth and HS2 - The journey

Published by Turley on 20th March 2020 -

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It is clear, however, to most objective observers that HS2 will bring wide-ranging and critical benefits to the national economy, particularly at a time when our country needs to be more closely united and levelled up, as confirmed by the Budget last week.

Rather than speed, the benefits of the project should be viewed from the perspective of the additional capacity that will be created, and importantly the effect that high speed rail connectivity will have in joining-up a number of regional cities, and bringing them closer together as a key step to rebalancing the national economy. The green light given to the whole route by Government last month, despite some wavering, is fantastic news for the future economic potential of the regions and much credit is due to all those in civic, business, and academic roles who fought hard to achieve it. The Oakervee review, which led to the Government’s decision, confirmed that “the original rationale for HS2 still holds” and that the full network is needed to realise the benefits of the investment. The report references the evidence provided by Transport for the North, Midlands Connect, and other regional organisations, which set out that “improving inter-city connectivity within the North of England and the Midlands, and from there to London is vital for [regional] economies”.

The Midlands in particular stands to gain substantially from the major growth and potential future prosperity that will be stimulated by the Government’s decision. The renaissance that Birmingham has enjoyed over the last decade, since the current proposed route for a high speed line connecting the major regional cities of the country was first mooted, could be just getting started. For us, having worked on many of the most transformative projects in the city and region over the last 20 years, that is a hugely exciting prospect.

More than just a railway

Looking back at HS2’s timeline and charting this against many of the milestones for major investment and regeneration in Birmingham and the wider region, there is a clear correlation between the certainty and faith placed in HS2, as the largest proposed investment in national rail infrastructure for many decades, and the level of development confidence experienced on the ground. Please click the below link to see a timeline charting the journey of HS2 and Birmingham.


Iona Stonehouse

We are a full service national planning and development consultancy.

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