THE development of HS2 in the West Midlands ‘will turbocharge the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic as it brings forward 175,000 new jobs and generates some £20 billion investment’ say the West Midlands Combined Authority.
It believes that high speed rail will also accelerate the progress towards a zero carbon West Midlands by 2041, in part through creating capacity on the existing rail network for improvements to local passenger and freight services.
These are just some of the benefits laid out in the Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy 2021: The Defining Decade – The Midlands high speed path to recovery which has just been published.
It describes how the West Midlands will be transformed in the next decade highlighting by 2030 the region will have two new world class, high speed rail stations, which will be accessible by two million people.
And how the building and operation of HS2, and the investment opportunities its arrival unlocks, will result in more than 175,000 new jobs; £20bn additional economic output; and a comprehensive public transport system that encourages sustainable travel.
As well as setting out how authorities and organisations are working together to make the most of the project – the document also looks at progress made over the six years since the publication of the original HS2 Growth Strategy.
The region is seeing unprecedented investment in its transport network, including the four Metro tram line extensions currently under construction and new commercial and housing developments planned around the Curzon Street and Interchange Stations. Such is the progress that the jobs and investment totals have been revised upwards for the refreshed strategy.
Councillor Ian Courts, the Leader of Solihull Borough Council and WMCA portfolio lead for environment, energy and HS2 said: “This an economic growth project for the whole of the West Midlands.
The strategy shows HS2 will have a positive impact across the region, not just in the developments planned around Curzon Street in Birmingham, or HS2’s Interchange Station in Solihull, but also through projects like the Metro extension to Brierley Hill.
“HS2 can also play a key role in achieving our climate change targets. One of our next steps is to develop our strategy with Government to show how HS2 can deliver improvements to our local transport network, support our climate change ambitions and further develop our green economy.”
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