Commenting on today’s announcement by the Department for Transport on High Speed 2, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:“Business welcomes the Prime Minister's commitment to extending high-speed rail to the great cities of the Midlands and the North. Transformative infrastructure projects like HS2 create confidence, jobs and competitiveness, as long as commitments and announcements lead swiftly to action on the ground.
“Our existing railway network is at capacity and cannot be endlessly patched up at astronomical cost, as opponents of HS2 continue to suggest.
“Yet we hope ministers can go further still. Alongside the commitment to extend the line to Manchester and Leeds, they must envision and plan for a full national network. They must also reassure business communities in cities off the high-speed network that conventional lines will continue to carry good-quality services for both passengers and freight.
“Finally, business is concerned at the news that the proposed link to Britain's only global hub airport, Heathrow, has been put on hold. This is an unwelcome consequence of the government's near-complete paralysis on the crucial issue of aviation and global connectivity.”
Said Cheryl Smart MBE, Chief Executive of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce:
'Improved transport infrastructure is vital to the growth of the UK economy. We welcome this project which will provide us with the beginnings of a 21st century railway system comparable to that of our international competitors.'