A spokesman for Centro, the region’s transport authority, said: “Research already shows that HS2 will bring substantial economic benefits to the West Midlands in terms of 22,000 new jobs and a £1.5 billion a year boost to the regional economy.
“This new report shows how it will also allow major enhancements to the region’s existing rail network, benefitting towns like Lichfield, Tamworth, Nuneaton, Rugby and Kenilworth.
“This is in stark contrast to not building HS2 which would lead to a very real risk of local and regional services being pushed off the West Coast Main Line to make way for more profitable inter-city services. That would hit hundreds of thousands of regional commuters, damaging local economies and stifling economic growth and job creation.
“We have to build a new railway to meet future demand because the West Coast Main Line will reach full capacity in the mid 2020s. It would therefore be short-sighted and a lost opportunity not to make that new route high speed and thereby reap all the extra benefits that such a railway line would bring in terms of economic regeneration, job creation, released rail capacity and shorter journey times. Indeed, the extra cost of making the new line high speed compared to building a conventional rail line is relatively small.”