Go-ahead for HS2 is welcomed by county council leader

What an HS2 train might look like, designed by Alstom.
What an HS2 train might look like, designed by Alstom.

The go-ahead for the controversial HS2 railway, which will run by the outskirts of Hucknall, project has been welcomed by council chiefs.

The government finally gave the green light this week for the project, which had come under threat because of spiralling costs.

Councils and businesses feel HS2 will not only help link London with the north of the country but also be a boost to regional economies, including here in the East Midlands.

Coun Kay Cutts, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said she was delighted that the train line had finally been given the seal of approval.

“This is really positive news and a huge opportunity for the rest of the country from the Midlands upwards,” said Coun Cutts, who is also chair of the HS2 Toton Delivery Board, which is overseeing the creation of a key, new station at Toton.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and HS2 is instrumental in our plans for substantial growth in Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands, particularly through the new station at Toton.

“Alongside our partners, we will continue to work with the review team to see what improvements can be made to the line through the East Midlands which will reduce costs.

“The region has comprehensively planned the route over many years, and we are all supportive of the existing plan which ensures maximum impact on jobs, housing and the environment. 

“By working together, we’ve persuaded the government to invest in areas of the country that have suffered from under-investment for more than 40 years.

“HS2 will be a key driver for new developments in the East Midlands and will help to deliver on our vision of improved connectivity, build on our wide range of manufacturing, technology, and high-value services, and provide more housing, jobs, and training.

“It will result in a major boost to the regional and local economy, bringing far-reaching benefits that will impact positively on the lives of people across the East Midlands for generations to come.”

HS2, which could cost up to £88 billion, is scheduled to open in phases between 2028 and 2040. Trains will reach speeds of up to 225mph and carry up to 100 million passengers a year.