Ruli Pennington is Editor of Council News Monitor and writes Night in the City an occasional column for Information Daily. She is passionate about better public services, devolution, malt whisky & women's football.@UnruliP
Andy Street welcomes the economic benefits and "huge opportunities" that HS2 is bringing to the West Midlands.
The Mayor of the West Midlands has welcomed the announcement by the Government confirming the routes of HS2 in the north-west, East Midlands and Yorkshire.
Andy Street said the decision, which will mean new connections between Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and the East Midlands - with all of them being linked to London by the line - meant huge opportunities for the West Midlands.
Preparatory work on Phase One has already commenced, with major construction starting in 2018 to 2019. The London to Birmingham in 2026, the route to Crewe in 2027 and the routes to the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Manchester in 2033.
The confirmation that the West Midlands will have faster connections with key cities in the north is expected to drive the economic boost that the region is already experiencing.
Street said: “Today’s announcements from the Transport Secretary are, first and foremost, important reinforcements of the Government's commitment to the transformational HS2 project. With the West Midlands at the heart of the HS2 network, its effects and the huge opportunities it brings are already becoming apparent across the region. We are working closely with our businesses to ensure they are ready to benefit from the contracts awarded today to the winning consortia."