Leeds city leaders met with HS2 bosses yesterday to lobby for construction of the new high-speed rail link to begin in Leeds.
A delegation headed by Leeds City Council leader Keith Wakefield told HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins and his fellow board directors that it made more sense to start building the proposed high speed rail from Leeds down to Birmingham first and leave the Home Counties to sort out their arguments.
Leeds councillors believe the start date of 2027 for their section is too far away. By starting construction in Leeds the region will be able to begin making the most of economic benefits and new construction jobs sooner.
Councillors also lobbied for Leeds to be the home of HS2 planned college that would train people to work on the rail project.
Councillor James Lewis, who chairs the Metro transport authority, said: “High-speed rail is an incredible opportunity for Leeds with the potential to create thousands of new job and homes – an opportunity on a scale we have never seen before.
“HS2 has unwavering support from Leeds. We are very enthusiastic to welcome high-speed rail to Leeds and have tightly integrated it into our ambitious regeneration plans for the city.
“Leeds has a projected rail user growth of almost 70% by 2029 for this very reason alone it makes sense to start engineering and construction of HS2 right here.”