Commenting on the government’s announcement of an independent review of HS2 by Douglas Oakervee, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“There is a strong economic case for delivering all phases of HS2.

“For far too long businesses across the UK have had to cope with heavily congested Victorian-era railways – with passengers and freight traffic vying for priority. Businesses count the cost of this in delayed journeys, overcrowded trains, uncertain deliveries and unreliable services.

“By delivering new, dedicated express routes between cities, HS2 will provide much-needed capacity to Britain’s rail network and free up space for local and freight services on existing lines.  The delivery of other transformational schemes, including Northern Powerhouse Rail, rely on the connections that HS2 will make.

“HS2’s importance goes far beyond train services. Its anticipated completion is already attracting investors and will continue to attract investment to surrounding areas, rejuvenate local economies and create opportunities for businesses across the supply chain.

“While no project should have a blank cheque, business communities across the UK will be concerned about the potential for further delays to HS2. This review must work at pace with our business communities to improve and hone this crucial infrastructure project, which is so important to business confidence.”