Sheffield City Region welcomes Higgins Report
On Monday 27 October, Chairman of HS2 Ltd, Sir David Higgins, released his second report on the future of high speed rail in Great Britain.
The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and Sheffield City Region Combined Authority both welcome the report’s clear commitment to HS2, to the full Y-network and to a station located in the Sheffield City Region.
The Sheffield City Region also supports Sir David’s recommendation to further invest in connecting the economies of the North, including plans for a high speed railway from Hull to Liverpool. The Sheffield City Region is working closely with partners from across the North and with Government on the comprehensive ‘One North’ connectivity plan. The Sheffield City Region’s involvement in One North will ensure that the economy can fully capitalise on this extra investment as it continues to play a central part in the revitalisation of the North.
James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“The LEP board fully backs Government plans for HS2 and we strongly agree with this latest report’s emphasis on the significance of Phase 2 of the project which is critically important to future business growth in the North. We fully support the inclusion of a Sheffield City Region station as part of the Eastern leg of the network, as this forms a key part of our Strategic Economic Plan.
“This latest report from Sir David will further boost confidence in the project among businesses and potential new investors in the Sheffield City Region, although we are disappointed that the final route alignment will not be announced until after the General Election. However, Sir David’s thoughts on the importance of local connectivity within City Regions, to maximise the economic impact of HS2, is welcome as this aspect of transport strategy is high on the LEP’s agenda.
“The LEP is working with all local organisations to make sure we are ready to capitalise on the huge supply chain opportunities from HS2. The scale of the growth potential from HS2 cannot be underestimated. HS2 is a £42.6 billion project, with 330 miles of new track, four new stations and five stations to be redeveloped.
“It offers the North a once in a generation opportunity to rebalance the national economy from the South East by creating thousands of good jobs locally and further developing our engineering skills base.”
Councillor Sir Stephen Houghton CBE, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, said:
“The Combined Authority welcomes the work of Sir David Higgins and will work with HS2 Ltd to make sure the station in Sheffield City Region is a success.
“All nine leaders of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority fully back Government plans for a new high speed rail network and recognise the transformational impact it will have on the City Region economy.
“Sir David’s report reinforces the Government’s decision to locate a station in the Sheffield City Region and recognises our strategic economic importance to future UK growth plans.
“Local Authority leaders from across the Sheffield City Region are working together to make sure that all our public transport networks better connect our towns and cities and integrate TransPennine connectivity with HS2.
“Enhancing engineering skills and developing the rail engineering sector is also an integral part of our work to capitalise on this huge project. We recently celebrated news that the National High Speed Rail College will be based in Doncaster, which further affirmed our belief in HS2’s ability help to spread the economic benefits of the project.”