Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin gives his backing to speed up the HS2 link to Crewe
Cities in the North West and Midlands could become global leaders thanks to HS2 according to supporters of the project. But a special task force for High Speed 2 says more must be done if the region is to get the full economic and social benefits.
Sir Howard Bernstein, CEO Manchester City Council and Deputy Chair of the Taskforce, said:
"HS2 is not just a railway. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a huge step towards re-balancing Britain's economy, taking regeneration in cities across the North and Midlands to a new level."
The Government should appoint a special HS2 minister, says a report from the growth taskforce for the £50 billion high-speed rail project.
The new minister would ensure growth and regeneration around HS2 remained a priority, the taskforce said.
Led by Lord Deighton, the taskforce said the scale of HS2 was "without precedent" and "could catalyse far-reaching economic and social benefits, particularly to the cities of the Midlands and the North".
Lord Deighton, who like HS2 Ltd chairman Sir David Higgins played a key role in delivering the London 2012 Olympics, made a reference in the report's foreword to a line from the cult film Field of Dreams.