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A demand for high-speed rail link that cannot be ignored

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Meg Munn MP has joined with politicians and business leaders from across the region in signing a letter carried in today’s Yorkshire Post saying that developing a high-speed rail link is vital to the future of Yorkshire. In an unprecedented show of support for the project 90 of the region’s leading figures have signed a letter urging Ministers not to be “blown off course” by protesters opposed to the scheme cutting through the Chilterns.

Under the Government’s plans for a 225mph high-speed rail network, with two branches from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds, the new route could slash 50 minutes from journey times to London and be worth billions of pounds to the economy, although key figures in the region warn the Government it must also invest in improvements to existing lines in the meantime.

The letter reads:  

Dear Sir,

We believe it is vital that the Government goes ahead with the development of a new high-speed rail network linking key cities in the north including Leeds and Sheffield the Midlands and London.

High-speed rail will help economies outside the south east and play an important part in trying to rebalance the economy. The Government has consistently pledged to do more for the regions, and investing in a high speed rail link to Yorkshire would be a tangible demonstration that the days of the north-south divide in funding are a thing of the past, as well as giving this region a significant boost for the future.

Research by Arup has shown that reducing journey times between London and Leeds by 50 minutes and between London and Sheffield by 45 minutes could bring in benefits worth billions of pounds, and the Department for Transport’s own report calculates the network’s benefits could reach 44bn. The Government’s planned network will also improve access to Heathrow, free up space on existing lines for more freight to be moved by rail rather than road tackling congestion and pollution and create thousands of jobs during the construction phase.

The Government must not be blown off course by vocal protests from those along the route of the first phase of the network the potential benefits of the network to the north, and the country as a whole, are too great to be ignored.


Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty

Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey

Kevin Barron, MP for Rother Valley

Richard Baxter, Planning Director, Turley Associates

Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East

Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central

David Blunkett, MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough

Coun Peter Box, Leader, Wakefield Council

Helen Briden, Conference and Events Manager, Leeds United

Charlotte Britton, West Yorkshire Chairman, Institute of Directors

Monica Burch, Senior Partner, Addleshaw Goddard

Ian Burnett, Managing Director, Wates

Mark Burns, Partner, Clarion Solicitors

Stephen Burwood, North Yorkshire Chairman, Institute of Directors

Brian Cantor, Vice Chancellor, University of York

Tony Cherry, National Vice-chairman, FSB

Andrew Cooper, Managing Director, Rex Procter & Partners

Graham Cooper, Site Manager, AGFA Graphics

Richard Corby, Partner, Edward Symmons LLP

Coun Mark Crane, Leader, Selby District Council

Coun Andrew De Freitas, Leader, North East Lincolnshire Council

Barry Dodd, Owner, GSM Group Ltd

Ryk Downes, Deputy chairman, Metro, and Lib Dem Group Leader, West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority

Richard Flanagan, Partner, Lawrence Hannah

Andrew Flower, Branch Chairman (South Yorkshire), FSB

Coun Mike Gardner, Leader, Harrogate Borough Council

Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby

Chris Greaves, Chairman, Metro and Conservative Group Leader, West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority

Coun Ian Greenwood, Leader, Bradford City Council

T.T.M Hale, Chairman, Sheffield Chamber Transport Forum

Kevin Hollinrake, Managing Director, Hunters Property Group Ltd

Kris Hopkins, MP for Keighley

Coun Stephen Houghton, Leader, Barnsley Council

Colin Hunter, Director, Storeys: SSP

Coun Neville Huxtable, Leader, Hambleton District Council

Coun Mick Jameson, Chairman, South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority

Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central

Gerald Jennings, Portfolio Director, Land Securities

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough

Peter Kay, Partner, Ware and Kay

Richard Kendall, Head of Policy, Hull and Humber Chambers

Coun Mehboob Khan, Leader, Kirklees Council

Coun Mark Kirk, Leader North Lincs Council

Coun Keith Knaggs, Leader, Ryedale Council

James Lewis, Labour Group Leader, West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority

Keith Loudon, Senior Partner, Redmayne-Bentley LLP

Gary Lumby, Director of Small Business Banking, Yorkshire Bank

Denis MacShane, MP for Rotherham

John Marshall, Senior Partner, Dickinson Dees LLP

Yuri Matischen, President, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce

Paul McCann, Human Resource Director, Sulzer Pumps

Jason McCartney, MP for Colne Valley

Ann McCracken, Communications Manager, O2

Neil McLean, Chairman, Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership

Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber

Gordon Millward, Regional Chairman (South and East Yorkshire), FSB

Jeff Morris, Head of Leeds Office, Odgers Berndtson

Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West

Meg Munn, MP for Sheffield Heeley

James Newman, Chairman, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership

Gareth Osborne, Marketing Director, Eversheds LLP

Simon Palmer, Partner, Armstrong Watson

Andrew Palmer, Regional Director, CBI

Coun Stephen Parnaby, Leader, East Riding Council

Julie Payne, Senior Marketing Manager, Eversheds

Kieran Preston, Director General, Metro

Prof Susan A Price, Vice Chancellor, Leeds Metropolitan University

Nick Ramshaw, Managing Director, Thompson Brand Partners

Richard Rawlins, Managing Director, Finn Communications

Simon Reevell, MP for Dewsbury

Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West

Linda Riordan, MP for Halifax

Kenton Robbins, Young Directors’ Forum Chairman, Institute of Directors

Coun Paul Scriven, Leader, Sheffield City Council

Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield

Jeremy Shulman, Chairman, Shulmans

Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge

Julian Smith, MP for Skipton and Ripon

Bill Speirs, Master Cutler, Sheffield

Coun Roger Stone, Leader, Rotherham Council

John Thompson, Regional Director of IoD Yorkshire

Richard Tuplin, East Yorkshire Chairman, Institute of Directors

Coun Keith Wakefield, Leader, Leeds City Council

Diana Wallis, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber

David Ward, MP for Bradford East

Shaun Watts, Managing Director, Chameleon Business Interiors

Craig Whittaker, MP for Calder Valley

Alasdair Wightman, Chairman, AWA

Gary Williamson, Chief Executive, Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber

Margaret Wood, Regional Chairman, Institute of Directors


For Yorkshire Post visit: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/business-news/exclusive_a_demand_for_high_speed_rail_link_that_cannot_be_ignored_1_3231783 

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