Rail investment to 'secure UK jobs and growth'
28 January 2013
Posted by Michelle Devonshire
The UK Government's latest proposals for major investment in the country's rail infrastructure will help to drive growth and secure jobs, it has been suggested.
Unveiling the latest plans for a high-speed train network, which will connect northern cities including Manchester and Leeds with London, Prime Minister David Cameron said the development will balance the economy and help secure the country's prosperity.
Revealing more details about the high speed 2 (HS2) routes, the PM announced the locations of new stations in the north-west, Yorkshire, and the West and East Midlands.
Mr Cameron commented: "High-speed rail is a catalyst that will help to secure economic prosperity across Britain, rebalance our economy and support tens of thousands of jobs."
The 211-mile northern route follows details about the southern phase of the line between London and Birmingham, which was announced last year.
Construction of the southern section is due to start in four years' time and will be open in 13 years, while the routes from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds will be running six years later.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "This is an unparalleled opportunity to secure a step-change in Britain's competitiveness and this Government will do everything possible to ensure that the towns and cities in the Midlands and the north get the connections they need and deserve to thrive."
It is thought that the HS2 will create as many as 100,000 jobs across a number of sectors.
Welcoming the announcement, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said there was still more to be done.
Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the BCC, suggested that a plan for a full national network was necessary and urged the Government to reassure businesses that weren't going to be affected by the new rail network that quality services would remain for passengers and freight