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Birmingham wins high speed focus

Birmingham is set to become one of the biggest benefactors of government proposals for a new high speed rail network, as it will be brought to within 31 minutes of London.

The proposals would see Birmingham connected to the high speed network via a city centre station at Curzon/Fazeley Street and a West Midlands interchange close to the airport.

Travel times from the West Midlands interchange to London’s Crossrail interchange at Old Oak Common in west London would be only 31 minutes. London Heathrow would be an additional 11 minute journey.

Birmingham International airport said it was “delighted” with the proposals and said the new Birmingham interchange station would help “stimulate the economic tiger” that is the M42 corridor. It added that a city centre station would generate £1.23bn for the regional economy.

Birmingham International airport had been lobbying for the two stations and the airport’s operations director Will Heynes told NCE last year that it should begin to be seen as a viable alternative to Heathrow.

“If there are constraints in the south east, why can’t Birmingham provide some of the solutions for that? We have the capability.”

Public consultation on the route is expected to begin in the autumn.

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