Proposed enhancements to Leeds to Leicester HS2 services make sense for the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine

You would be very hard-pressed to find any regular rail commuter in and out of Leeds that might come close to agreeing that everything on the trains is rosy.

Monday, 9th September 2019, 6:14 am
The construction site for the HS2 high speed rail scheme in Euston, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday August 23, 2019. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Whether it is the failings of franchise operator Northern or the incomprehensible lack of network connectivity for miles and miles of the journey down to the capital, it is without question a public service in need of urgent improvement.

Of course, Azuma is a welcome game-changer for the thousands of people travelling up and down the East Coast Main Line, but so much more needs to be done if Britain is to be able hold its head high alongside other developed nations on the transport front.

And so it is positive that proposals are in – and backed by Leeds City Council – that would slash journey times on the proposed HS2 route between Leeds and Leicester.

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By connecting Yorkshire’s driving force with a key part of the Midlands Engine, Ministers would be creating a powerful force for talent sharing and labour movement that can only make the regions more competitive in the face of increased globalisation and more attractive places for ambitious working families to set up home.

HS2 has its detractors for many and varied reasons, but one thing is for sure; Britain must keep pace with other nations or risk shunting its cities’ economies into the sidings.