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09 Mar 2023

Government’s short-term attitude to HS2 neglects ‘huge economic opportunities’, says East Midlands Chamber

Commenting on the statement by Transport Secretary Mark Harper that construction of some HS2 sections will be delayed by two years, East Midlands Chamber director of policy and external affairs Chris Hobson said: “This Government is once again minimising the huge opportunities that HS2 brings to progressing many of our country’s overarching economic objectives, including levelling up and net zero, by providing the infrastructure that will spur clean growth and regeneration in UK regions.

“Investing in big infrastructure is a vital ingredient in any successful economy, as we have outlined in our Business Manifesto for Growth, yet as a country we continue to adopt a very short-term attitude by slowing down or scaling back this investment any time we need to make some cost savings.

“In the East Midlands, where we receive the lowest transport infrastructure spending per head at 64.7% of the UK average, we need to see a firm commitment to progressing the Eastern Leg through Parliament via a dedicated bill as soon as possible.

“This will allow us to build on the long-term vision being developed for economic activity in our towns and cities, which will ultimately provide a return on this investment by creating growth, jobs and prosperity.”