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'Back and build HS2', say local businesses

They believe “HS2 will bring benefits to local communities far beyond its costs. Credit: PA

'Back and build HS2', that's the message from businesses in the Border region to the government as it reviews its plans for high speed rail links between London and Scotland.

It comes after a government-commissioned review was launched which could lead to all or part of the network being scrapped.

The chairs of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) signed a statement claiming a scaled-back version “will not deliver the improved connectivity across the country that businesses are crying out for”.

Representatives of the North West, North East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber and London went on: “HS2 will bring benefits to local communities far beyond its costs."

The letter said: “It will create half a million jobs, stimulate house building along its route and support much-needed investment across the Midlands, North and beyond. It is the critical spine that will bring wider transport improvements like Northern Powerhouse Rail and the Midlands Rail Hub to life.”

A Lockerbie company that turns waste plastic into material for laying and resurfacing roads says HS2 will benefit them:

A review into whether to go ahead with HS2 was launched by the Prime Minister in August and is due to be completed shortly.

Around 18 trains are planned to run per hour at a top speed of 225mph – faster than France’s high speed TGV service which currently runs at around 200mph.

It aims to make transport in between some of the UK's cities and towns much faster.

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