Union welcomes investment for HS2

28 January 2013

Mick Whelan, the general secretary of ASLEF, has welcomed the additional investment in rail outside the South East of the country, but regrets that the opportunity is not being taken to take the new track the whole length of the island. The union also argues that it would make sense to have a spur to Heathrow.

The government today announced its initial ‘preferred route’ for the second stage of the High Speed 2 network which would take the line north from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds. It will involve the construction of 211 miles of new railway. This follows last year’ announcement of the HS2’s 140-mile first phase between London and Birmingham.

‘It is unquestionably a bonus for the economies of the West Midlands, North West, East Midlands and Yorkshire and it is something we welcome. There has been disproportionate investment in the south-east,’ Mick says.

‘The investment also offers new opportunities for moving freight by rail, as capacity is freed up on existing lines. In environmental terms this could be the major benefit of the HS2 project.’

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