It was a busy day yesterday! Breakfast was with the Regional Editor for Property Week – one of the Industries top read magazines. I was telling him all about HS2 and how Nottingham ‘needed’ a station on the new line…
Then I got a call to say that a letter I had signed along with 68 other Business leaders from Nottingham and around the UK had appeared in the Financial Times. The letter was effectively supporting the HS2 line. And then the phone started ringing – a brief interview with Radio Nottingham and another with The Nottingham Evening Post rounded my day off!
The theme of the questions was ‘why do you support the HS2 Line?’ – which is quite easy really.
I think it will be great for Nottingham. Clearly a major benefit will be for business commuting to London with a journey time estimed at under an hour. But it’s not just to London, many of our businesses are now competing overseas and in Europe. It will connect us with Europe more easily. But I have another view – a station in Nottingham will put us on the map. It will encourage visitors here. We need this – we need, at the same time, to capitalise on Robin Hood (and I hope to have more on that at a later date!).
But there are some other interesting facts around the line (which seems to have attracted more NIMBY-ISM than positive press?). Firstly, it is estimated that around 40,000 jobs will be created around the construction of the line and in regenerated areas near the new stations. If you free up the exiting lines of the faster trains more local services will be able to be run (fast trains and slow trains don’t mix!). And, for the green agenda, it will be carbon neutral from the start.
There will clearly be some disruption – and I understand the NIMBY lobby. But we need to see the bigger picture here. This is a long term project that could secure a very rosy picture for Nottingham, and the surrounding towns. It would give us a competitive edge over other places.
And that’s why I lend my support wholeheartedly to the scheme…