BIRMINGHAM Airport boss, Nick Barton, has warned the Prime Minister the scrapping the high speed rail link between Birmingham and Manchester ‘would be a mistake.’
Rising costs have lead to speculation around the future of the HS2 and the government has not ruled that the line will continue to the North West once phase one from London to Birmingham are complete.
Following this Mr Barton, the airport’s chief executive has written to the Prime Minster, Rishi Sunak voicing his concerns.
Mr Barton said axing the North West leg would deter the type of investors that are crucial to the future success of the West Midlands region and the country.
He wrote: “I fully appreciate the financial constraints under which you, and the country, are operating but I believe that opting for a shorter HS2, with Manchester and the North being removed, would be a mistake.
“Indeed, it would short-change every generation to follow.”
Birmingham Airport is set to benefit from HS2’s southern leg.
Mr Barton added: “Economists agree that only a full HS2, including Manchester, can achieve maximum returns for Britain’s economy, including your government’s much publicised ‘levelling up’ promises in the Midlands and the North.
“Furthermore, the Midlands’ regional transport plans are predicted on the full delivery of HS2.”
Mr Barton said once complete the southern leg would make the airport the journey time equivalent of Zone Five of the London Tube.
The high speed rail link will pass through Balsall Common, Berkswell, Hampton in Arden, Bickenhill and Chelmsley Wood areas of Solihull and the borough will be home to the HS2 Interchange Station near to the National Exhibition Centre (NEC).
There are also plans to develop the surrounding Arden Cross area where it is estimated around 27,000 new jobs will be created and 3,000 new homes built around the HS2 Interchange Station.
There will also be a multi-storey car parking at Arden Cross for HS2 passengers to use.