Could HS2 restore growth in England?

January 28th, 2013 Category: Building Management

Last week's news that the economy shrunk by 0.3 per cent in the final quarter of 2012 has prompted concerns that Britain may be about to lurch into a triple-dip recession.

However, the government is keen to stress that it has the policies to trigger economic growth.

This could partly explain why it is continuing to push the controversial HS2 project. While some critics argue it is unnecessary and could negatively impact on some parts of the country, others believe it could be critical to restoring Britain's economic fortunes.

After all, it will significantly reduce journey times between major cities including Manchester, Birmingham and London, so could prompt many more businesses to consider England as an attractive investment option.

As a result, we could be set to see many more businesses, both homegrown and from overseas, moving into office space in key locations.

Prime minister David Cameron has been one keen advocate of HS2 and believes it could be crucial in boosting England's competitiveness on a global scale.

"High-speed rail is a catalyst that will help to secure economic prosperity across Britain, rebalance our economy and support tens of thousands of jobs," he commented.

Mr Cameron said HS2 would join up businesses and communities all over the country and shrink the distance between its major cities. This, he stated, means it will act as an "engine for growth that will help to drive regional regeneration and invigorate our regional economies".

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin added that doing nothing to improve the UK's transport infrastructure would be "irresponsible" and hailed HS2 as an "unparalleled opportunity to secure a step-change in Britain's competitiveness".

Many critics and commentators have argued that in the past, wealth generation was too heavily concentrated in the London area.

HS2 could therefore offer other parts of the country the chance to redress the balance, with other towns and cities in the north and south of England all being given more of a chance to contribute to the economy.