The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership has rejected the findings of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee that has suggested that a convincing case for HS2 has not been made by the Government.
Martin McKervey, LEP Board Member, said: “I simply do not recognise what this report is saying. The economic case for HS2 has, in our view, been clearly made and accepted over the last five years. Local studies have demonstrated significant economic benefits arising from HS2 and as a region we are determined to maximise these.
“Across the region local businesses are backing our ontrack4HS2 campaign - demonstrating they recognise the potential benefits HS2 will bring and that they are gearing up for it. You only have to look at the regeneration around Kings Cross/St Pancreas to see what an impact investment in rail can make and closer to home the region is already benefiting from the new High Speed Rail College in Doncaster.
“Rebalancing the national economy requires city regions to be able to attract inward investment. Not only would HS2 attract this investment to regions it will also allow easier access to jobs from further afield. Rebalancing the economy would be greatly improved by starting construction in the North and have made representations to this effect.
“Building new rail capacity takes time so we need to begin development now, to ensure rail capacity exists to cater for future population levels and travel requirements. We do not want to see any delay to phase 1 and would support an acceleration of the construction programme to deliver phase 2 sooner.”
The SCR expects HS2 to lead to around 5,000 new jobs in the region as well as greatly reducing journey times and improving connectivity.