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Midlands must upgrade transport for High Speed 2

High Speed 2’s (HS2’s) economic benefits will more than double if transport links with the line in the Midlands are beefed up, Birmingham’s transport chief said last week.

“For us HS2 with associated transport connectivity means 22,000 jobs and £1.5bn a year gross value added (GVA) impact on the local economy,” said West Midlands integrated transport authority Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip.

“Without the improved connections we would gain 10,000 jobs and £600M annual GVA. Combine and improve and the business benefits more than double,” said Inskip.

Centro has been asked by the government to work with government promoter High Speed Two Ltd to investigate how people would access and use the new high speed line and onward connections as
part of consultation for the £32bn scheme.

The city’s transport system must be ready for the change in pace that HS2 could bring, said Inskip.

The £127M metro extension from Snow Hill to New Street due to be let at the end of the year will help, but there are also plans to extend the metro to the National Exhibition Centre and airport where another HS2 station is proposed.

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