"High Speed 2 (HS2) is the biggest infrastructure project in Europe and the importance of this investment for the economic future of Britain is clear. The improved connectivity and rail capacity that will come from its services between London, the Midlands and Northern England, will help our rail system cope with rapidly rising demand, and free other parts of our network for enhanced passenger and freight services.
"However, the case for such investment goes well beyond rail transport improvements. We know from evidence in other countries where High Speed Rail has been built that it can, with the right supplementary initiatives, help to revitalise cities, act as an engine for their regeneration, and enhance their international competitiveness. The challenge now is for our great cities and city regions to capture the opportunities that HS2 investment will bring.
"As a Patron of the Independent Transport Commission (ITC), I am very pleased therefore to commend this new report, which explores how the benefits of HS2 can be captured by the city regions it will serve. Drawing from the evidence and insights captured in the ITC’s 2014 report Ambitions and Opportunities, which explored the impacts of HSR in various European countries, this report uses those findings and applies them to the cities in Britain that will be connected by HS2. Several recurring themes emerge:
"The message from this report is clear – there is no reason why our great cities in Britain cannot enjoy the same benefits from HSR that cities in other countries around the world have enjoyed. As the transport infrastructure begins to be built, I recommend that our great cities and their citizens use this ITC report to help plan for the arrival of HS2, ensuring that this major investment better enables our cities to compete on a global stage to the benefit of all.
- Successful cities have a coherent sense of identity and a shared ambition of what they wish to achieve from enhanced connectivity
- Investment in improving local transport connectivity is vital if the benefits of HSR investment are to be shared throughout a whole region
- Benefits are more easily captured when there is widespread cooperation and collaborative working, ensuring that not only local government but also civic society and citizens are able to contribute and take a central role in the redevelopment of their city regions.
"... At Old Oak and Park Royal, the Grand Union Alliance organised workshops and hands-on planning groups to shape a future strategy for community participation over the next 20-30 years to ensure 'opportunity for all'."