HS2 COULD FUEL DOWNFALL OF AN UP-AND-RUNNING CURZON HS2 MASTERPLAN.

HS2 ACTION ALLIANCE

WEST MIDLANDS COMMENT

 

February 27, 2014.

 

HS2 COULD FUEL DOWNFALL OF AN UP-AND-RUNNING CURZON HS2 MASTERPLAN.

 

HS2 could compromise or even kill an up-and-running Curzon HS2 Masterplan by drawing jobs and business OUT of the West Midlands rather than filling new homes and business space.

 

Richard Houghton of HS2 Action Alliance, the national HS2 opposition campaign, said:

 

“The enhancement of the Curzon Street area would be fantastic for Birmingham, but HS2 would be irrelevant to it, and may even be its downfall.

 

“Birmingham City Council is blinded by the glamour of HS2. Every study conducted into HS2 – usually commissioned by HS2 itself – says three things: London will be the main beneficiary, economic benefits outside London will be minimal if not negative, and that the best course of action to grow or reinvigorate a regional city is to enhance its local transport infrastructure to make local commuting faster and easier, so supporting local business and workers.

 

“Other than London, there is no city in the country – outside of the oil industry in Scotland, that, in itself, has flattened out – which has attracted mass migration of jobs or business. It simply doesn’t happen.

 

“To drive growth, the priority must be local transport. According to government data, around 75% of rail journeys in the West Midlands begin and end in the West Midlands. Overcrowding is rife. Around 1% of rail journeys to the West Midlands originate in London, but eight times as many journeys start in the West Midlands and end in London.

 

“Looking in the other direction, around 2% of journeys starting in the North West end in the West Midlands, but passenger traffic in the opposite direction is double that.

 

“The key to making the most of the Curzon Street development is keeping West Midlanders in the West Midlands by improving local rail, not providing a fast track for West Midlands talent, jobs and business to escape to London – don’t forget, a recent Centre for Cities report said that London has created ten times as many private sector jobs than any other city in Britain.

 

“High speed rail will not attract anything like as many passengers as HS2 says – and the taxpayer will have to meet the bill for shortfalls on a project that has to be paid for.

 

“HS1 is carrying around about a third the passenger volume projected. Passengers per day per kilometre is projected at 221 on HS2; in Germany and France – much more mature markets, and more relevant because of the greater distances, carry 76 – a third of that.”

 

Ends

 

further information:

 

Midlands and South East:

John Read

john.read@readdillon.com

07774 476391

 

North:

Iain Macauley

im@pressrelations.co.uk

07788 978800

 

South and South West:

Peter Chegwyn

chegwyn@talk21.com

07931 177940

 

http://www.hs2actionalliance.org/