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Axing HS2 to Manchester will reduce investor confidence - Midlands Connect chief

Midlands Connect’s chairman says any radical changes to the HS2 rail project will hit investor confidence.

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Sir John Peace

Sir John Peace said: "Amid all the noise and speculation our view is still very clear. We must keep and deliver on the vision underpinning HS2.

"We believe the vision and case for HS2 remains strong and key to levelling up and meeting our net zero goals."

Si John said that many councils had prepared their plans for economic growth, jobs and housing on the back of HS2.

"Any radical changes will undoubtedly reduce investor confidence and set back the economic growth of the Midlands and the North for many years to come," he warned.

Sir John added: “Now, whilst costs are spiralling, we do understand the need to look again at how we deliver and execute high speed rail in this country but by axing the whole route north of Birmingham, there is a significant risk of failing to effectively connect the UK all the way from Scotland through the North, the Midlands and the South coast.

“Home to 11 million people, the Midlands generates nearly £250 billion for the UK economy each year but our productivity and growth potential are hindered by our ability to connect and trade better internationally and with the rest of the UK. HS2 is definitely part of the solution and at Midlands Connect, we stand ready to support deliver this challenging but imperative endeavour."