LEP Chair Roger Marsh responds to HS2 report

Responding to a report launched today, claiming that the HS2 high-speed rail line connecting London with Leeds and the City Region will only achieve one of its objectives, greater capacity, Roger Marsh OBE Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) commented:

“However well repaired, modified and improved we make our existing trains, a creaking Victorian infrastructure will not position our great country, and particularly the Northern Powerhouse, to remain one of the leading economies in a globalised economic order.

“As a member of the national HS2 Growth Taskforce, I have long been saying that HS2 is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Leeds City Region. It is no longer about ‘if’ but when HS2 will start to bring benefits to the region. It has already acted as a catalyst for a wholesale redevelopment of the Leeds South Bank area but we need to get to work on building the infrastructure so that the benefits of growth and investment can be felt as quickly as possible across our region and beyond.

“The economic evidence is clear that international, inter-city and intra-regional connectivity is essential for a strong, successful North that can act as a genuine counterweight to London and the South East. HS2 is pivotal to our growth ambitions and, alongside improvements to our local network, is integral to our long-term Strategic Economic Plan to fulfil the Leeds City Region’s extraordinary economic potential as the UK’s largest city region economy outside London.”