Responding to reports on the unpublished Oakervee Review, in the Financial Times, Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “HS2 should be delivered in full, without delay. There is a strong economic case for delivering all phases of HS2.
“For far too long businesses across the UK have had to cope with heavily congested Victorian-era railways – with passengers and freight traffic vying for priority. Businesses count the cost of this in delayed journeys, overcrowded trains, uncertain deliveries and unreliable services.
“By delivering new, dedicated express routes between cities, HS2 will provide much-needed capacity to Britain’s rail network and free up space for local and freight services on existing lines. The delivery of other transformational schemes, including Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Engine Rail, rely on the connections that HS2 will make. Reducing the scope of this project would put at risk city development plans across the country.
“HS2’s importance goes far beyond train services. Its anticipated completion is already attracting investors and will continue to attract investment to surrounding areas, rejuvenate local economies and create opportunities for businesses across the supply chain.”