John McNicholas, chairman of Centro, wants to make sure the west Midlands is served by direct high speed rail services to Europe.
McNicholas said the current proposal for a single track HS1-HS2 link may prove inadequate to meet future demand. Local leaders also want to see customs and passport controls handled in Birmingham. A direct link means high speed rail services would be able to reach Paris and Brussels from Birmingham in less than three hours.
Says John McNicholas, ‘High speed rail presents a tremendous opportunity for the West Midlands, bringing jobs and investment. Journey times from Birmingham to London, Leeds and Manchester will be halved by high speed services, but it is essential we’re also able to take full advantage of improved European connections.’
He went on, ‘I urge the Government to consider a fully segregated two track link between HS2 and HS1, which could cater not only for high speed rail services from the West Midlands to a range of destinations on the continent but which would also facilitate new high speed rail links between the region and economic centres in East London and Kent. High speed rail is great news for our region and we want to see fast, direct links with European cities.’