NORTHERN politicians have come together to express their support for HS2 and the benefits it could bring to the North East and Yorkshire.

Whilst the Prime Minister has repeatedly given his assurances about this section of the HS2 route, there has been speculation that it could be curtailed, delayed or even scrapped.

The Birmingham to Leeds line is expected to be finished by 2035.

Many Northern politicians are now fearing that the government is going back on its promises to ‘level up’ the north.

However, some politicians have been backing the project and have joined with businesses leaders to produce a report.

This risks not only losing the benefits of HS2 in Yorkshire and the North East, but also the unravelling of Northern Powerhouse Rail and the Integrated Rail Plan.

The new report published yesterday demonstrates how crucial delivering the Eastern Leg of HS2 is to realising the full benefits of the project and of Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), particularly for Yorkshire and the North East of England. Published by the High-Speed Rail Group (HSRG), High Speed Rail Yorkshire and North East Voices brings together contributions from leaders across the region in support of completing HS2 in full.

Many stating that HS2 would create a major new station in Leeds, and with new services due to come to Sheffield, York, Darlington, Durham, and Newcastle it stands to have an important foothold in the Yorkshire and the North East.

These services will integrate with Northern Powerhouse Rail and local transport to relieve congestion, improve reliability, and speed up journey times.

HS2 trains will serve the current railway station at York, which will become an integrated high speed station where passengers can catch HS2 trains and access the high speed network to the south.

It is estimated that over 35,000 passengers a day will travel on the high speed network to and from the city. The York Central Project is being developed on the premise of the HS2-hub as an economic magnet and will see the regeneration of land next to the railway station.

The Enterprise Zone around the station will help unlock around £155m of investment creating commercial space, up to 2,500 new homes and 6,500 jobs, and could create over £1.1bn value for the region’s economy.

In Darlington a new HS2 hub will be created to connect the Tees Valley region including Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Newton Aycliffe.

The Darlington HS2 Growth Hub envisages around £100m of investment and work is already underway to develop a masterplan that includes new platforms and buildings, alongside the creation of new business space and 1,500 potential new homes.

HS2 trains will also use existing stations in Newcastle and Durham.

With two HS2 trains every hour between Newcastle and London and one per hour to Birmingham, over 25,000 passengers are expected to travel on the high speed network to and from the North East.

The North East Combined Authority (NECA) and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) are working to ensure that these stations support the region’s future.

This includes facilitating growth in development sites such as Newcastle’s East Pilgrim Street and Stephenson Quarter, as well as supporting Durham’s ambition to double employment in its tourism sector.