How will the HS2 cancellation affect UK SMEs?
HS2 has been heavily publicised as an example of the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, which plans to address regional inequalities across the UK by investing in important public services like infrastructure. Longer journey timesThe main loss caused by the cancellation of the Eastern leg is that business travel times along the East Coast Line will be considerably longer than those promised in the HS2 plans. Slower economic growthLess investment in the North on the HS2 eastern leg will mean some areas across the regions will not receive the same amount of economic benefit from HS2 as the South of England. Whilst on a smaller-scale than HS2 would have brought, the IRP will benefit small businesses by bringing an increase in local tourism and improvements to public transport. The savings generated by cancelling the HS2 Eastern leg could also be redirected into local business support.