Birmingham MP wants HS2 – but not in his back yard

Stop HS2 have been pointing out for over a year that the proposed Washwood Heath HS2 maintenance depot comes at a cost of real jobs at a time when people in Birmingham need work now, not as a possibility in 15 years time.

(See Jobs tomorrow – but not today, “Yes HS2″ supporters – but not here please,The HS2 jobs divide, and HS2 News from Birmingham.)

And now Birmingham MP, Liam Byrne has repeated his appeal to Justine Greening to move the maintenance yard away from his back yard.

In an article published on his website today – My Local Jobs Bid to Transport Secretary – the MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill calls on Justine Greening to find another site for the maintenance depot, so his constituents can get jobs fast – he says that developers have already turned away businesses because of the uncertainty caused by the HS2 plans.

The site – the former LDV-Alstom site – has been vacant in parts since 2004. It is the second largest industrial site in Birmingham, and provides a third of the city’s available industrial land.

The developers think that 6,500-7,000 jobs could be created there. But HS2 Ltd want to use it for a depot which will provide just 300 cleaning jobs when HS2 opens in over 14 years.

Liam Byrne said:

‘This is a once in generation chance to give Birmingham’s inner city a massive shot in the arm and get our city back to work.

‘Three of the most unemployed constituencies in Britain surround this site and developers tell us we can move jobs here fast.

‘It would simply be a tragedy if we locked up this huge site for another 15 years doing nothing while all around people searched for work.

‘Our city needs jobs and we need them now.

‘I’m optimistic the Transport Secretary sees the sense of what we’re proposing.

‘Now the key is a new Birmingham City Council and High Speed 2 putting their heads together to find a sensible spot for the marshalling yard – that doesn’t cost us the one of the best jobs opportunities for a lifetime’.

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