Cancellation of HS2 extension a huge blow for trade, says Logistics UK

Wednesday 04 October 2023

Today’s (4 October 2023) announcement of the cancellation of the HS2 extension, between Birmingham and Manchester, damages investor confidence and harms the development of the national logistics network that the UK needs to thrive, according to business group Logistics UK. 


Responding to the announcement made today at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Logistics UK’s policy director Kate Jennings expressed the disappointment of the group’s members at the news of the cancellation: 


“HS2 was a vital plan to unlock economic growth across the UK – the additional capacity across the rail network which it would have released was critical to expanding rail freight opportunities and enabling a shift from road to rail to cut carbon emissions. Putting high speed trains on the existing line between Birmingham and Manchester will make today’s rail freight capacity issues even worse. 


“Logistics businesses need detailed confirmation that the funding previously ringfenced for the construction of the Birmingham-Manchester stretch of HS2 will be reallocated to upgrading transport links across the UK, including across the north of England and the Midlands. This cancellation is a huge disappointment to businesses keen to reduce their environmental impact and reduce road congestion while still delivering for customers. 


“Logistics is the lifeblood of the economy, supporting all parts of the UK PLC, and deserves effective, nationwide infrastructure to enable fast, efficient deliveries. On behalf of our members, we are urging government to confirm its plans for the infrastructure investment needed to smooth the transition to Net Zero, deliver a national logistics network and capitalise on an opportunity recently identified by Oxford Economics to boost UK growth by up to £7.9 billion per year.” 


Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With decarbonisation, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, water and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.