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Thursday, May 23, 2024

HS2 taskforce named

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The UK government has announced the creation of the ‘HS2 Growth Taskforce’ which it hopes will make the most of the economic benefits created by high-speed rail.

The team, which includes music producer and railway enthusiast Pete Waterman, has been set up to ensure that HS2 maximises its potential to boost employment and manufacturing in the UK.

The taskforce is being led by Olympic boss Lord Deighton.

Announcing the group’s launch, he said: “HS2 presents a massive opportunity to boost growth in regions across the UK and it’s vital that we talk to business leaders, public sector organisations, local Government and the public about how we maximise the benefit to the whole of the country.”

Research by interest group Greengauge has suggested that HS2 could create up to 22,000 jobs over the next five years, with a possible 50,000 jobs by the late 2020s.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “HS2 is about far more than just a new railway, it provides a once in a generation opportunity to drive growth, generate jobs, and secure our country’s future prosperity.

“We have no choice but to address the increasing demands on our transport system that Britain will face in the next decade to be able to compete in the global economic race.”

The taskforce will publish its first report early next year.

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