Birmingham City must be well connected with the outside world to grow and prosper.
This was the theme and strong message of the Transport Summit 2011 meeting held at the Council House last Tuesday. It was unanimously echoed in speeches by key people in the Council and businesses serving the city.
Undecided about the merits of HS2 before the meeting, I left with no doubt that the future wealth of the City depends on advanced transport links to London, Continental Europe and the wider World.
Most important is easy connectivity with the developing key states of the wider world – China, India, Japan and others as they develop.
But also, Britain must shrink geographically in the eyes of key foreign governments and business investors. Getting to central Birmingham must be easier than getting to central London to encourage foreign (and UK) investors and industrialists. This is very possible!
How to achieve this?
Well, two things are essential:
- Birmingham Airport expansion to serve much more of the world
- the HS2 (High Speed Rail) link to London and beyond
Why HS2? Well, it will shrink Britain! A straight forward, no change no hassle journey from the capitals of neighbouring EU states is key. The planned 49 minutes extra timetable time by HS2 to reach Birmingham from the London stop, in practice disappears, due to the proximity of the Birmingham stop to business and commercial centres and the ease and speed of movement to them.
Local transport improvements in the pipeline will make Birmingham easy to live in and travel to work, and hence increase desirability of investment in new businesses.
This will make Birmingham the city of first choice in future over London.
Be aware of the opposition to HS2
The opponents of HS2 (mainly rich and influential people living along the proposed HS2 corridor) are already well organised and funded***.
There needs to be an equally vociferous movement for the proponents.
Typically, people against an idea are more energetic than those in favour.
The government is in favour of HS2!
So have your say
The Department for Transport is consulting the population.
Read the Government’s case for HS2 and have your say. Click on
*** In one village alone during a single evening a call for financial donations to oppose HS2 realised £100,000!