What Does HS2 Coming To Birmingham Mean For The Area?
What Effect Will The HS2 Have On Birmingham And Its Surrounding Areas?
With the building of the first phase of the HS2 line set to start in 2017, we ask what effect its completion could have on businesses in and around Birmingham?
What Is HS2?
High Speed 2, or HS2 as you may have previously heard, is the planned high speed railway line that will connect Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and London. Phase 1 of the proposed line will see the link created between Birmingham and London. The 1100 seated capacity trains can travel up to 250mph and will frequently operate throughout the hour. With the resulting speeds, the Department for Transport say that the new Birmingham to London journey will only take 49 minutes instead of the existing 81 minutes, shaving off 32 minutes of the current traveling time.
What Benefits Will The HS2 Line Bring?
The clear benefit will be the time cut for commuting. It would suddenly become more practical to live in Birmingham and commute into London for work. This could have a knock on effect for estate agents and landlords who may be faced with an increase in house prices and rental values across the region. Similarly, Londoners who wish to commute into Birmingham now have a more viable journey time than previously. The creation of the HS2 line will also free up regional rail services and may ease congestion.
How Will The HS2 Affect Businesses In Birmingham And The Local Area?
With the creation of the new HS2 line, Birmingham will benefit from a shorter journey time to London and, soon to follow, Manchester and Leeds. Suddenly, travelling time becomes shorter and more people will consider commuting out of, and into, Birmingham for employment. Local Businesses on every scale will have access to a larger employee pool. With Birmingham becoming a main destination for the HS2, its economy could steadily increase. There will be additional people moving into Birmingham to take advantage of the more viable commuter routes.
More people in the area will result in increased spending on all amenities, such as coffee shops, restaurants, supermarkets, shops, theatres, cinemas, taxi firms and public transport. There will be a higher demand for accommodation, rent and property prices might increase, and we may soon start to see the population of Birmingham expand as more people move to the area. Of course this will have a knock on effect for the surrounding areas in much of the same way. Easier transport links will bring more people to the area and the increased cost of Birmingham property may leave some people looking for cheaper alternative housing nearby, thus leading to more money being pumped into the wider local economy.
All in all, the implementation of the new line should have a positive effect on Birmingham and its neighbouring areas. There is likely to be an increase in the number of jobs available, while businesses and amenities will benefit from the extra spending that will be brought in to the area from the extra growth. Of course there are those that don’t view the HS2 development so favourably due to the impact on the area’s protected green belt land, and potential impact on their immediate housing and businesses, but the hope is that this will be a positive development for people and businesses across the West Midlands.
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