Local, regional and national political leaders joined High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL) at an event in Birmingham, to present a positive and compelling message about how HS2 is the ‘missing piece’ in bridging national connectivity divides.
The event, at which a giant jigsaw was unveiled, highlighted that for the UK to feel the full benefits of HS2, the project must be completed in its entirety and integrated with Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and Midlands Connect.
HS2 is transformative infrastructure project, and through HS2, NPR and Midlands Connect, journey times will be reduced, with connections and capacity increased between cities and regions across the Midlands and the North.
HS2 will connect 30 million people across the UK, open up business and leisure opportunities, support an increase in jobs and growth, release rail capacity and change the way freight can be moved, taking lorries off the road.
Hundreds of businesses have already secured HS2 contracts, as part of around 2,000 businesses across the UK who are helping to deliver HS2.
HS2 is expected to generate £92 billion in benefits to the UK economy and create 30,000 jobs with 70 per cent of these jobs created outside London.
Iain Anderson, director of HSRIL said: “The launch of HSRIL’s jigsaw today is a strong visual demonstration of the crucial importance of HS2 and the benefits that it will bring to the nations and regions of Britain. HSRIL’s jigsaw hopes to show that through this line of route, and support for Midlands Connect and Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2 is joining up Britain.
"Whether it be the thousands of jobs, or the commitment to supporting SMEs, it is places like the Midlands and the North that will benefit most from this flagship national project.
“I would like to thank Minister Ghani, Mayor Street, and Cllr Ian Ward for their support in making today’s launch happen and in supporting HS2 all the way.”