Speeding to a High Speed conclusion

With two weeks to go until the public consultation on High Speed 2's route between London and Birmingham closes, with responses needed by the 29th July, sides are being drawn on whether the route and plan is a good or bad idea.

All parties in Birmingham City Council support the proposals although the council has made an official complaint that only one high speed service an hour to and from London to Manchester and Liverpool will stop at the NEC/Airport interchange. With the interchange being a mile from the airport the time saved reaching the interchange may be lost in getting to the airport on a people mover. Birmingham City Council is talking to the HS2 company about replacing the proposed people mover with a metro tram system. This would tie in effectively with future metro expansion plans to reach the airport from the city centre.

Opposition groups in Buckinghamshire have argued meanwhile that current intercity services between Birmingham and Euston will be reduced from three trains per hour to one train per hour when HS2 opens, http://www.birminghampost.net/news/west-midlands-transport-news/2011/07/14/all-party-support-for-hs2-at-birmingham-city-council-65233-29048623/

The new line will however offer three high speed services per hour with the possibility of four per hour at peak times.

The economic benefits, which have been called into question by some, are a compelling factor with KPMG claiming in a report for the City Council that the project will create 22,000 jobs in the Greater Birmingham area and lead to a £300 average increase in pay for every working person. The importance of the line for business has also been raised following the recent Chinese Premier's Birmingham visit hints at major interest in West Midlands.

The race for China’s investment billions has taken a significant turn in Birmingham’s favour as the city is singled out for a historic visit by the Chinese Premier.

International trade experts believe Wen Jiabao’s decision to begin his UK visit in Birmingham this weekend with a visit to the Chinese-owned Longbridge MG Motor UK car plant – the only business he will visit during his stay in the UK– is symbolic of China’s deep interest in the region’s economy.

Chinese trade has been hugely important to Birmingham over the past decade and the city is the biggest recipient of investment from the country outside London, receiving £76.6 million since 2003 through Chinese investors backing firms like MG Motor UK and Birmingham City Football Club. http://www.birminghampost.net/birmingham-business/birmingham-business-news/other-uk-business/2011/06/23/chinese-premier-s-birmingham-visit-hints-at-major-interest-in-west-midlands-65233-28929696/

This visit also helped gain support from PM David Cameron who met with the Chinese Premier and discussed how China was building high speed lines and was interested in building the line with it's expertise and experience.

“Meeting with Premier Wen, where they’re building high speed rail all over China – they’re linking two of their biggest cities, they are going to have a time between them of just 45 minutes. And I want London and Birmingham to be the same.” http://www.birminghampost.net/news/west-midlands-transport-news/2011/06/30/david-cameron-insists-campaigners-won-t-halt-high-speed-rail-65233-28974839/

Indicative image of the new city centre station and it's site.


Popular Posts