Commenting ahead of the second reading of the HS2 Hybrid Bill, Dr Adam Marshall, Executive Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:
“Businesses across the UK have been frustrated by our chronically overstretched rail network for decades. Continually trying to patch up the rail network, at huge cost, has not delivered and will not deliver the capacity needed for either passengers or freight.
“HS2 must proceed, as it will deliver transformational capacity to Britain's rail networks, not to mention economic benefits including jobs, orders for UK firms, skills investment and regeneration. Parliament must progress the scheme quickly, to ensure the benefits are felt before overcrowding, delays and cancellations become the norm rather than the exception. We urge all political parties to put short-term interests to one side and work together with Sir David Higgins and his team to make this key infrastructure project a reality as quickly as possible.
"At the same time, we must remember that HS2 is a key piece of the transport puzzle, but far from the only piece. Infrastructure investment in HS2 must be matched by a rock-solid commitment to address glaring deficiencies elsewhere in our road and rail networks. Only sustained and systematic investment in our transport infrastructure, in all parts of the UK, will underpin future growth and jobs."