Shadow Transport minister Lilian Greenwood MP has praised Birmingham and the West Midlands for the way it is embracing the arrival of HS2.
In a visit to Centro, the region’s transport authority, she saw for herself work on the Midland Metro extension in Birmingham city centre and learned how it would eventually connect to the new Birmingham Curzon HS2 high speed rail station.
She praised the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan, drawn up by Birmingham City Council, which includes a new Metro tram route branching off the extension currently being built through the city centre, saying, “I think it’s really exciting to see the way that Birmingham and the West Midlands are developing their transport infrastructure. HS2 is a huge part of this and you can see how the whole region is gearing up to maximise the benefits this major step-change in transport infrastructure will bring in terms of jobs, regeneration and improving transport and connectivity.”
Ms Greenwood also praised the Centro plans for rail devolution, describing them as “exciting, very well developed and about getting a better deal for passengers”.
Birmingham Curzon will be a brand new city centre station where HS2 will terminate on its 49 minute journey from London. The station will place the city at the heart of the new national high speed network.
Under the HS2 Masterplan, the proposed future Metro extension will travel down through city’s Eastside district before stopping directly underneath the Birmingham Curzon station. The Masterplan would create more than 14,000 jobs, 600,000 sq metres of new employment floorspace and 2,000 new homes in a regeneration project that will boost the city’s economy by £1.3bn each year.
HS2 itself will boost the West Midlands economy by £4.1 billion each year and create more than 51,000 new jobs while providing extra capacity and better connections to London and the north.
The plans are a critical part of Birmingham’s efforts to support its burgeoning creative, learning and research sectors and the booming professional and financial services industry. Centro chairman John McNicholas said: “We were delighted to welcome the Shadow Minister here and show her how the West Midlands is seizing the day with HS2 and is determined to maximise all the benefits it will bring. The Curzon HS2 Masterplan demonstrates the transformational value of HS2, not just for rail passengers but for the communities that the railway will serve.”