Yorkshire is already feeling the benefits of HS2 despite it not arriving in the region until 2033, according to the outgoing boss of the company responsible for the 350-mile high speed track connecting London with Leeds and Manchester.
Sir David Higgins, who today releases his final report as chairman of HS2 Ltd, says there are already 90 firms from the region who have delivered work on the project, with a further 277 hoping to access and compete for contracts over the next 15 years.
In his report, HS2: Realising the Potential, Sir David said there have been many “positive developments” for the project in recent years, but that “other challenges remain if we as a country are to realise the full potential of HS2 and get a full return on the nation’s investment in the project”.
He also calls for local leaders to focus on broader benefits that spread beyond the areas immediately surrounding HS2 stations and making sure the proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail service connecting the great cities of the North is well integrated with HS2.
Phase One of HS2 connecting London to Birmingham is due to open in 2026, with Phase 2B of the 220mph service reaching Leeds by 2033, meaning journeys to the capital will be shortened to 81 minutes.