Connecting Britain is a coalition of business and political leaders who have come together, with one voice, to make a positive case for why the North and UK Plc need HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail delivered together, in full.
After decades of underinvestment in strategic rail infrastructure, HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail combined represent a once-in-a-generation chance to transform connectivity, attract investment, boost skills and opportunity and level-up communities across the North, and beyond.
To truly level-up, rebalance and create transformational change, it must be both
With a new government in place and a new review of HS2 in progress, political, business and industry leaders are coming together to speak with one, powerful and united voice to ensure there is no doubt about the importance of HS2 and NPR for UK. We will work with the Oakervee Review and the government to demonstrate the strength of the economic case and the unified commitment for the full and timely delivery of HS2 in lock-step with NPR and other complementary infrastructure schemes.
Strategic rail infrastructure is critical to the long-term success of the UK and all of its parts. It is a crucial provider of connectivity, and an enabler of economic growth, productivity, job creation, prosperity and a low-carbon economy. A green light on HS2 in full, together with NPR, would be a clear signal from the government that it recognises that historic underinvestment in transport infrastructure outside London.
HS2 is an essential enabler to complementary rail infrastructure projects throughout the country, including Northern Powerhouse Rail. Without HS2, these projects will not be as effective. With HS2, these projects can be truly transformational. HS2 Phase 2 developed in tandem with Northern Powerhouse Rail as one project is the only approach with the potential to deliver a transformation in connectivity and railway capacity throughout the North of England. We reject the ‘either, or’ proposition: if the North is to level-up then it needs both.
Any move to cancel or significantly downgrade HS2, or to reduce its level of integration with NPR, would undermine business confidence and growth, and run directly counter to national policy objectives around skills, infrastructure investment and industrial strategy. For a successful post-Brexit future, putting faith in HS2 and NPR is putting faith in the UK’s business and industrial base and in the Northern Powerhouse. Work on HS2 is already well underway and delivering economic benefits. Contracts are being signed, people are being employed, skills are being developed, businesses are making strategic location and investment decisions.
Business, industry, political leaders speaking with one, united voice
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