Business leaders from across Greater Birmingham have written to the Prime Minister calling for commitment to the Midlands Rail Hub – a transformational £2.3bn rail scheme.
The letter, co-ordinated by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, has been signed by more than 80 businesses including professional services firms Mills & Reeve, Browne Jacobson and Geldards LLP, Aecom, Kier, Mott Macdonald, the NEC group and Auctus Management Group Ltd.
Signatories state that an investment in the rail scheme ‘Midlands Rail Hub’ “is not only an investment in businesses, industry and our future success, but will also catalyse additional private sector investment”. The letter adds: “Given the pressures of the last 18 months, it’s essential we get started now.”
It urges Government to deliver on the 2019 Conservative Party Manifesto pledge, where it committed to kickstarting the Midlands Rail Hub and listed the rail scheme as a key transport priority. The improvements made as part of the scheme will include the construction of two new rail links into Birmingham Moor Street station, alongside upgrades to signalling and existing track.
These changes will create space for 20 additional trains to move into and out of central Birmingham every hour, from locations including Bromsgrove, Hereford, Worcester, Bristol, Leicester, Nottingham and Derby. It will also eventually accommodate new services on the Camp Hill line, expected to be popular with inner city commuters.
Once completed, the Midlands Rail Hub will provide more than 11 million additional passenger seats on the rail network every year. Businesses also highlighted the importance of the project’s impact on rail freight, with it due to create room for an additional one-million lorries’ worth of cargo to be moved by rail each year. A decision on the future of the project is anticipated in Government’s Integrated Rail Plan, which is due to be published later this month.
What Has Been Said About The ‘Midlands Rail Hub’ Rail Scheme?
Henrietta Brealey, CEO of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said:
“The Midlands Rail Hub is an infrastructure project, alongside HS2, that will bring huge social, economic and environmental benefits to our region. By opening up access to a wider talent pool, encouraging cross-regional trade, and sparking wider investment, it will speed the region’s post-pandemic recovery and give us the room we need to make more sustainable transport choices. Government signalled its support for the project in its Manifesto. It’s now time that we get on and deliver.”
Richard Toy, CEO added:
“Both light and heavy rail will play a significant part in the countries strategy to reach our Net Zero carbon emission targets. The £2.3billion transformational investment programme will be a fundamental part of this future-proofing the local and national rail networks, providing links that make social mobility easier for the masses and access to a wider job market. The investment will attract further UK & global interest from companies looking to relocate to the West Midlands, bringing additional benefits for employment, skills and competency training opportunities for residents.”
To read the letter in full, click here.