Reacting to Transport Secretary Justine Greening’s announcement that High Speed 2 (HS2) will move forward, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“Businesses up and down the country will welcome the government’s decision to proceed with HS2. But this project must be seen as one part of a comprehensive package of infrastructure improvements to underpin economic growth.
“HS2 is about increasing rail capacity in Britain, not just about speed. Without HS2, which would treble capacity, overcrowding will get worse, fares will rise, and delays will become even more common. Britain cannot continue to 'make do and mend' when it comes to its sub-standard infrastructure. Fundamentally, our global competitiveness is at stake.
“However, the battle for HS2 is not yet won. Ministers must legislate swiftly, and within this parliament, to demonstrate their rock-solid commitment to delivering a national high speed rail network. Further delays, for any reason, are not an option.
“Finally, this announcement must be complemented by commitments to detail the route of the high-speed network to the North of England and Scotland, to improve conventional rail services, and to deal with pressing capacity problems at our airports and on the roads.”