HS2 given the go-ahead as Boris Johnson visits the West Midlands

The Prime Minister visited the region on Tuesday, just hours after giving the go-ahead to HS2.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given the go-ahead to the £100bn High Speed 2 rail project this week.

He announced work on the scheme will continue after carrying out a review into whether it should proceed given costs have “exploded”.

The prime minister said there is “no doubt of the clinching case for high-speed rail”, promising to “restore discipline to the programme” by appointing a full-time minister to oversee its progress in a cabinet reshuffle on Thursday.

He confirmed work on Phase One – which runs from London Euston to Birmingham – would continue. This phase will pass close to the southern boundary of Coventry between Kenilworth and Gibbet Hill.

The nearest HS2 station, immediately east of the NEC and Birmingham Airport, is proposed to be called Birmingham Interchange.

In May 2014, Coventry City Council formally submitted a petition objecting to certain aspects of Phase One, relating to the impact of construction traffic on Coventry roads, predominantly in the south of the city on Stoneleigh Road and Kenilworth Road.

Following this, a number of assurances were secured including major upgrades to the A46/Stoneleigh Road junction and the development of a detailed management plan for construction traffic with the City Council.

The Prime Minister visited the site of the development of Curzon Street Station in Birmingham on Tuesday afternoon, following the announcement earlier in the day.

The Prime Minister called the development a “fantastic opportunity for the Midlands and the whole country”.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said on the matter: “I am delighted that the Prime Minister has given the go-ahead for HS2, meaning we can now get on and reap the considerable benefits from this once-in-a-generation infrastructure project.

“I want to see the next phase of construction works get started immediately for the Birmingham to London link.

“HS2 was always going to be a game-changer for the region, particularly because of the impact it is going to have both on employment and our local transport network. Not only will HS2 create tens of thousands of jobs for local people – both directly and indirectly – but it is also going to free up vital capacity on our local rail network, meaning we can run more reliable and frequent local commuter services.

“As Boris said today, we do need to make sure that we find savings to bring the cost of HS2 down, and we need rigorous management to make sure that we get it built as soon as possible.”