BUSINESSES across Greater Birmingham and Staffordshire have given their overwhelming support for plans for the new £50bn HS2 high speed rail link.The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce said a survey of members had shown the majority felt the new rail link would have a positive economic impact in the West Midlands.Meanwhile, the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce said separately that its members were in full support of a new HS2 station in Stoke-on-Trent.
The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the appeals against HS2.
Responding to the ruling Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said:
We welcome that the Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the appeal, which addressed technical issues that had no bearing on the need for a new north-south railway. The government’s handling of the project has been fully vindicated by the highest court in the land.
We will now continue to press ahead with the delivery of HS2. The new north-south line will provide extra space for more trains and more passengers to travel on the network, delivering additional capacity where it is most needed. HS2 will also generate thousands of jobs across the UK and provide opportunities to boost skills.
It is part of the government’s long-term economic plan to build a stronger, more competitive economy and secure a better future for Britain. HS2 is also essential in helping rebalance UK growth – bringing greater prosperity to the Midlands and the north – and we are continuing with the crucial business of getting the scheme ready for construction in 2017.
Following a Court of Appeal ruling in which the government won on all 7 areas of challenge, the Court of Appeal gave the appellants permission to appeal to the Supreme Court on 2 grounds:
- the claim that the government was required to comply with the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive, and failed to do so (this ground was led by HS2 Action Alliance, and supported by the Local Authorities and Heathrow Hub Ltd)
- the claim that the hybrid Bill will breach the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive (this ground was led by the local authorities)
The Supreme Court hearing ran from 15 to 16 October 2013 and was heard by 7 judges.