Robert Goodwill

High speed rail will deliver huge benefits across Britain, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill heard at a conference in London yesterday (25 November 2014). 

Mr Goodwill said Britain had a proud record of building new products but that HS2 is “the biggest” and will help rebalance the British economy.

He said: “Nothing else will provide Britain with the space it needs to grow and prosper. And nothing else will offer the same benefits for our cities and regions.”

HS2 will create 2,000 apprenticeships which will be facilitated by the opening of the new National College for High Speed Rail with sites in Birmingham and Doncaster.

He said the regions are already preparing for HS2. In Birmingham, the local enterprise partnership is developing an HS2 strategy that will help create 14,000 jobs.

HS2 advocate Jim Steer said the line would support a pattern of sustainable development across Britain and up all modes and economic benefits through increased productivity.

The conference, organised by PTRC Education and Research Services Ltd, attracted 75 delegates who joined in discussion with experts from Manchester and West Yorkshire passenger transport executives, local enterprise partnerships and economists, who demonstrated how their regions are preparing for the arrival of HS2 as part of regional economic and spatial plans.

Success will depend on providing good quality local transport coupled with broader economic interventions and planning to encourage new housing, employment and wealth creation opportunities. 

Information from Melanie Stark of PTRC