The Leader of Birmingham City Council has issued a statement adding his voice to the support for HS2.
Councillor Ian Ward is calling on Government to commit to deliver the project and realise the potential the investment in infrastructure will bring to the city and beyond.
Cllr Ward said: “If the Government is genuinely serious about re-balancing the UK economy, then HS2 absolutely must go ahead in its entirety. The Midlands and the north have been hardest hit by a decade of austerity and any decision to scrap or scale back HS2 would be another huge blow. That’s because HS2 is about much more than fast trains. It’s about jobs, opportunities and economic regeneration.
“Here in Birmingham we are already seeing the benefits of HS2, with thousands of jobs already created and money being invested on the assumption that HS2 will be delivered.
“HS2 will also free up capacity on the rest of the rail network, improving connectivity within – and importantly between – our cities. It will shift more freight onto rail – an important step towards zero carbon emissions.
“HS2 has the potential to define the lives and the life-chances of young people growing up in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and other towns and cities in the Midlands and the north.
“If the Government intends to keep its word and properly re-balance the UK economy, then it must proceed with HS2 – the largest infrastructure project in Europe and one that’s shovel-ready to go.
“Anything less will be a betrayal of the people of the Midlands and the north.”