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Calls for York to Benefit From High Speed Rail

train passing

8:11pm 29th January 2013

Hugh Bayley, MP for York Central intervened in a debate which took place in the House of Commons about High Speed 2. The debate followed the announcement by the Secretary of State, Patrick McLoughlin, that High Speed 2 will link the East Coast Main Line at York. The York Central MP called upon the Government to encourage investment in the York Central site, next to York station, and to safeguard land to build additional platforms on the York Central site for High Speed trains and to get maximum connectivity with conventional rail services. Mr Bayley wants local government Ministers to work with City of York Council to ensure that York Central is developed to take full advantage of the new High Speed rail services from York to London.

The exchange between Hugh Bayley and Patrick McLoughlin is shown below:

Hugh Bayley (York Central) (Lab): I welcome the statement and especially the wise and logical decision to connect the High Speed 2 line with the east coast main line at York. Does the Secretary of State realise that next to York station is the biggest city centre development site anywhere in western Europe—the York Central site? It is important for his officials to safeguard land on that site for additional platforms to get maximum connectivity with conventional rail services, and for local government Ministers to work with York city council to ensure that the area is developed as a business site to benefit from the new railway.

Mr McLoughlin: I am very pleased that the hon. Gentleman is so welcoming of the development. High Speed 2 will stop just short of York, but it will obviously be served by it. One of the things that we want to look at with this project is how we get regeneration in areas. This should open up huge potential, especially around station sites, for the north to benefit from connections with the rest of the country.

Hugh Bayley believes that City of York Council could be in line for a multi-million pound windfall to kick-start some of the city’s biggest stalled developments, including the York Central site. The Council have submitted an application to the Government’s Critical Infrastructure Investment Fund, hoping to obtain money to pay for infrastructure work throughout York. Mr Bayley is writing to Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, to support the application.

Hugh Bayley MP says:

“York is one of the most interconnected stations in the north of England and it is best placed to act as an interchange for the whole region. I want High Speed 2 to build new platforms at York and York Central is ideally placed to accommodate these. The York Central site is huge and it provides enormous opportunities for York’s continued economic development. If York becomes the key Interchange between High Speed trains and other rail services, it will benefit the whole region by boosting economic growth."

“I will write to Vince Cable who grew up in York and is well aware of the importance of the York Central Site in support of the council’s application for Critical Infrastructure Funding. Patrick McLoughlin agrees with me that there is a need to open up areas around station sites for regeneration and there is no finer an example of this than the York Central Site. If York receives investment from the Critical Infrastructure Fund it will open up great opportunities for York.”

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