High Speed Rail Group welcomes the publication of the National Infrastructure Commission’s Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North.

The programme of rail investment in the Midlands and North as outlined by the National Infrastructure Commission is much needed and essential if we are to deliver on the levelling up agenda.

The Assessment makes clear the significant case for increasing budgets above and beyond the NIC baseline to ensure that maximum benefit is realised through the completion of HS2 in full, Eastern and Western legs, along with complementary schemes including Midlands Engine Rail and Northern Powerhouse Rail. High speed rail will have a transformative impact on our country, enabling increased connectivity and capacity, whilst facilitating the modal shift that is essential to our Net Zero goals.

We urge the Government to take the NIC’s recommendations and through the Integrated Rail Plan commit the budget necessary to support a truly national high speed rail network , with HS2 at its core, providing an essential economic kickstart in the recovery from COVID-19 and ensuring we build back better as a stronger, greener Britain.