Transport secretary Justine Greening is expected to reveal today (January 10th) that the high-speed railway network (HS2) between London and Birmingham will go ahead.
The link is scheduled to have trains operating on it from 2026, slashing the typical journey between the two cities to less than 50 minutes.
Such a journey time could open up a wealth of benefits for businesses with central London offices
, widening the talent pool they can hire from and enabling them to better liaise with clients in the Midlands.
Once the first phase of HS2 is built, a Y-shaped section of rail would extend up to Manchester and Leeds, with the potential for it to also expand into Scotland.
A source from the Department for Transport said: "HS2 isn't just about getting between London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester more quickly, but bringing faster services and many more seats to towns and cities well beyond the HS2 network."
Commuters and clients in Manchester would be able to reach London offices
within 80 minutes, while the West Midlands itself should be accessible from the capital in around 30 minutes.
The entire cost of the railway project is expected to hit £32 billion. Meanwhile, the BBC said it has been told that extra tunnelling is likely to be built, including in west London, to try and appease some of the scheme's opponents.
There has been some opposition to the development, with individuals ranging from residents to MPs concerned about the need for the link to cross through the Chilterns.
Others say the money should be spent on boosting the existing network, rather than creating a new one.
While the completion of the rail link is some time off, its potential may encourage many organisations with London offices
to renew leases for their premises, or persuade others to open a base in the capital.
Posted by John Evans
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