Centro, a UK based organisation operating bus, rail and the Midland Metro Tram transport in the West Midlands area, has welcomed a commitment made by the UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his Transport Secretary, to go ahead with the HS2 high-speed rail link.
The HS2 high-speed rail link is a link between London, the Midlands and Northern England that is currently in the early stages of construction. The UK transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said in an interview with the Independent newspaper, ‘The easiest thing for any government to do on a project the size of HS2 is to say we’re not doing it.
All we get is grief. All we get is hassle. But one of the things that government has got to try and do is to look to the long-term future.
Whichever route we are going to put it on we are going to upset people.’
The £17bn HS2 high-speed rail link project will enable trains to travel at 225mph between London and Birmingham by 2026, reducing the travel time between the two cities by 49 minutes. While the project is expected to offer plenty of jobs and boost the economy in the Midlands and the north of England, critics have pointed out that it will also destroy the picturesque English countryside.
Centro chief executive officer, Geoff Inskip, said, ‘Our research confirms HS2 will bring 22,000 jobs and £1.5bn per year to the West Midlands.
It will also release capacity for more passenger and freight services on our increasingly busy existing lines. This announcement is exactly what we wanted to hear and cements the continuing cross-party support for HS2.’