Council Leader responds to HS2 news
Published: 18 November 2021
Statement from Cllr Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council, following the announcement on the Integrated Rail Plan today:
While it is disappointing that the previous commitment to HS2 East has not been fulfilled, I acknowledge that this finally provides certainty for local people and businesses and that there are some clear positives for our region.
I have long been lobbying for electrification of the Midlands Mainline and so I particularly welcome this aspect which will deliver significant improvements much earlier than under the original proposals.
Our region is unique as it is not dominated by one large city, but Derby, Nottingham and Leicester are an urban powerhouse that have for too long lost out on national investment because of our complexity.
I am very pleased that we will eventually have a direct high-speed link right into the heart of our city, and continuation to Chesterfield and Sheffield.
The predicted journey times to London of under an hour, the additional capacity between Derby, Nottingham and London and the increased frequency between Birmingham and Derby, I believe strengthen our case for the new Great British Railway HQ to be based in Derby.
Acknowledgment that investment in Toton is still needed to secure some of our growth plans is welcomed. It is, however, the interconnectivity around Toton that has always been equally important. A rapid transit connection between Derby and Nottingham, which could pave the way for a tram, I believe remains an important goal to unlock local growth and connect people and jobs.
I will want to work with partners to assess how this still might be achieved.
There is a great deal of consideration of the details that now needs to take place, and I will continue to work with Leaders from the East Midlands and the North to understand what this means for rail capacity, connectivity as well as speed, in our region.