Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, says the East Midlands will have its own station on High Speed Two.
Nottingham and Derby would be just minutes away from Leeds and Birmingham and times to London could fall to just over an hour.
‘The benefits of HS2 to the East Midlands are extensive and undeniable. Just one look at a map of our proposals shows the region would be right at the heart of the network and would reap the rewards this brings, with fast, direct connections to London, Birmingham and Yorkshire.
‘Taken alongside the £44bn of benefits to the UK economy and the significant regeneration this will bring to towns and cities along the route, high speed rail is something the East Midlands simply must support. My message to the region is simple – the transformational possibilities offered by HS2 are second to none – ignore them at your peril,’ said the Transport Secretary.
Analysts are evaluating over 20 sites in the region. The new station could be built just a few miles away from RailStaff’s main office in Ashby de la Zouch. ‘We’re all absolutely thrilled,’ says Tom O’Connor, managing director of the Rail Media Group.
Meanwhile anti-HS2 campaigners stepped up the pressure. A new group comprising environmental charities like Greenpeace and RSPB hopes to delay the scheme.
The Government is proposing a ‘Y’ shaped high speed rail network stretching from London to Manchester and Leeds, from where connections on to existing lines would also enable through-running direct services to Scotland. Public consultation on the proposals for high speed rail runs until 29th July 2011.
In the latest issue of RailStaff Andy Milne speaks to Jim Steer, head of high speed rail supporters, Greengauge 21. ‘High Speed Two is good news for the rail industry,’ says Andy Milne. ‘It means huge investment, more jobs and much more capacity. Make sure you make your voice heard.’