max temp: 12°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: HS2 ‘must not distract Ministers from needs of existing rail network’

15:46 28 January 2013

A computer generated image of the proposed  HS2 rail line near Birmingham

A computer generated image of the proposed HS2 rail line near Birmingham

BUSINESS leaders today welcomed Government plans for extending the new HS2 high-speed rail link – but there was a warning that the need to address failings within the existing network, including East Anglia’s main line, must not be ignored.


Proposed routes taking the new HS2 (High Speed Two) line to Manchester and Leeds, adding to the London-Birmingham route already announced, were unveiled yesterday, with the £32.7billion project expected to create at least 100,000 jobs.

Besides the impact of the new tracks on the countryside, sceptics claim the economic case for the lines does not stack up and that the new high-speed services will chiefly benefit London and the South-East by attracting investment away from the Midlands and the North.

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said yesterday that he believed the plans for HS2 (HS1 beinig the existing high speed link from London to the Channel Tunnel) were likely to be of economic benefit to the UK as a whole.

However, he added: “Ministers cannot and must not ignore the immediate priorities which are to sort out the failings in the existing network.

“In the East of England, investment by the Government in the Great Eastern Mail Line is a tiny fraction of what is required for HS2. It would though deliver massive benefits to the East Anglian economy and substantial benefits to UK plc.”

Similar views were expressed on a national basis by CBI director-general John Cridland. He said the plans showed “the same bold, long-term thinking that helped the Victorians build our original network” and would help to drive growth.

But he added: “HS2 cannot be built in isolation so we need sustained, additional capital investment in existing road and rail networks to meet increased demand.”

Steve Radley, policy director at the manufacturers’ organisation EEF, said: “Having made a commitment to both stages of High Speed Two by extending it to the North, the Government must now demonstrate that it has a credible plan to deliver this on time.

“This would send an important signal to business about Britain as a place to invest.”



  • If all these people are arriving into uk wanting to travel to Manchaester, Birmingham and Leeds why dont they fly to those airports from Amsterdam why even fly into Heathrow. This seems an awful lot of money, destroying countryside and peoples lives when there is an answer already existing. We could of course use the money set aside for hispeed broadband as it isnt needed because all these people need to meet face to face if the business leaders are to be believed.Agruments do not seem to match up to me. I am with John Burls

    Report this comment

    jennifer jane

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • I am a bear of little brain, so will someone please explain to me how saving half an hour or so on a journey North will benefit the economy by attracting investment. Are there not better ways to spend over £32 billion? And how will it create at least a hundred thousand presumably permanent jobs?

    Report this comment


    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • Although it's aeons of years away, if HS2 materialises it could spell very bad news for East Anglian passengers heading north via Peterborough. Why? Because the current service depends on big income from large numbers joining at or travelling via King's Cross. Most of these may well transfer to HS2 leaving many original services heavily uneconomic. As a result there will be fewer trains from King's Cross to stations north of York and onward into Scotland. As for through services heading to and from Aberdeen and Inverness, heaven knows! But be sure of one thing: HM Government,regardless of hue, will wish to maximise HS2 business to recoup building costs; East Anglia could well be a loser in that far, far off time. Oh curmudgeon that I am.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A file picture of the Sanofi factory in Haverhill.

More than 50 jobs are to be axed at the Haverhill site of pharmaceutical group Sanofi.

Georgi Rollings, left, and Emma Lawrence of Starfish Accounting.

An Ipswich based provider of online company secretarial software has reached the landmark milestone of having 10,000 users.

Robert Hughes, managing director of Hughes Electrical, and Andy Yallop, store manager, at the company's new branch in Bury St Edmunds.

Hughes Electrical has opened the doors of its new store in Bury St Edmunds following a £200,000 investment which has also created six new jobs, doubling the size of its workforce in the town.

Barclays has been fined £72m by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Banking giant Barclays has been fined £72million by the City watchdog for failing to handle potential financial crime risks relating to a £1.88billion transaction for ultra high-net-worth clients.

Members of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce team outside the chamber's offices at Felaw Maltings in Ipswich.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is among the nominees in two categories of the British Chambers of Commerce Awards, which are due to be announced at a ceremony in central London tonight.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

Natalie Moloney, of Woodbridge events firm Pink Lemonade Productions.

An entrepreneur is up for a fifth business award since her event planning company launched last year.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivering his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs in the House of Commons
Photo: PA Wire

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Comprehensive Spending Review today divided opinion between unions employers.

Tony Willson, managing director of Helmsman Services.

Colchester-based training specialist Helmsman Services has secured the largest contract in its 17 year history, for its construction-specific e-learning health and safety courses.

Thomas Cook has reported its first annual profit for five years.

The boss of holiday firm Thomas Cook said yesterday that disruption experience since the deadly terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Egypt and Paris was “unprecedented” in his 30-year career.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24