Council leaders and business representatives have strongly welcomed comments from the Chairman of HS2 Ltd supporting Toton as the location for a Hub Station serving the East Midlands.
Sir David Higgins was speaking at a meeting of the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board held in Nottingham, where he gave an update on the work undertaken to assess a potential alternative location at Breaston next to the M1.
Sir David confirmed that the technical work undertaken by HS2 Ltd on both locations had concluded that Toton remained the best option. This is consistent with the outcome of a separate assessment undertaken for the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board, which demonstrated that Toton had greater potential to deliver economic growth and to boost connectivity to Birmingham and the north of England.
The final decision rests with the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, who will set out how the Government plans to take Phase Two forward later this year.
Cllr Jon Collins, Chair of the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board and Leader of Nottingham City Council said:
“We are delighted that HS2’s assessments is consistent with our own conclusions and reflects the clear regional consensus that we secured earlier this year. This should remove any barrier to the Government making a clear decision later this year. We now need to work with HS2 Ltd to co-develop a station proposition that works for both local people and the wider East Midlands.”
Cllr Anne Western, Vice Chair of the East Midlands Strategic Board and Leader of Derbyshire County Council said:
“This is great news for the East Midlands. A hub station at Toton, along with the proposed HS2 maintenance depot at Staveley near Chesterfield, will give a huge boost to our local economies. But we will need to get the connectivity right to maximize the benefits – in particular links from Derby to the hub station by road, rail and public transport.”
Cllr Richard Jackson, Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council said:
“Broxtowe Borough Council is 100% behind an HS2 hub station at Toton and I very much welcome the comments made by Sir David Higgins. The Government now need to confirm its decision as soon as possible, so that we can take the planning decisions necessary to maximize local economic growth”
Peter Richardson, Chair of D2N2 LEP said:
“An HS2 hub station at Toton represents a huge economic opportunity for the D2N2 area. We now need to make sure we have plans and proposals in place that can maximize job creation locally and across the wider surrounding area, as well as implementation structures that can deliver effectively on the ground”
Ian Morgan, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce Board Member said:
“Uncertainty is the enemy of confidence – so Sir David’s comments are very welcome indeed. There are large numbers of local businesses that could benefit through making use of the improved connectivity that a new hub station will bring and also by winning contracts to design and build HS2 and the associated rolling stock”.