The chairman of HS2 Ltd has said Toton is the best option for the East Midlands hub of the high speed rail line.
Speaking at a meeting of the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board in Nottingham today, Sir David Higgins revealed that an assessment of the potential alternative location at Breaston next to the M1 concluded that Toton remained the best option.
A separate assessment undertaken for the East Midlands board also found that Toton had ‘greater potential to deliver economic growth and to boost connectivity to Birmingham and the north of England’.
Secretary of state for transport, Patrick McLoughlin is expected to make a decision on Phase Two of the line – travelling north from Birmingham and splitting to Manchester in the West and Leeds in the East - 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.’
Peter Richardson, chair of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership 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.’
HS2 is set to connect London to Birmingham by 2026, with the second phase due to open in 2033.