More than 40 business and civic leaders from the Midlands and the North of England have signed an open letter, calling on party leaders to publicly commit to completing HS2 phase two.
Phase 2a and phase 2b, connecting the West Midlands to the East Midlands, Crewe, Manchester, South Yorkshire and Leeds, still requires parliamentary backing to proceed. The signatories claim committing to HS2 in full, will help spread investment across the Midlands, the North of England and into Scotland. The open letter coincided with a parliamentary reception of MPs, businesses and civic leaders to further back completion of the project.
While there appears to be support for the project due to its potential economic benefits, a number of organisations still oppose its progression due to the environmental implications. Nottinghamshire (D+I 01-Nov-18), and Derbyshire Wildlife Trusts (D+I 14-Jan-19) have raised concerns regarding phase two’s impacts on local wildlife sites, rare habitats and protected species. The end of last year also saw Nottinghamshire County Council criticise phase 2b’s working draft environmental statement for lacking detail (D+I 15-Dec-19).
Phase 2a is scheduled to receive Royal Assent before the end of 2019, with phase 2b following in early 2023.