John Fawcett, MD, Transport Division, Close Brothers Asset Finance

Transport firms anticipating considerable benefits from HS2 project

According to the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer, almost a quarter (24%) of small and medium sized businesses in the UK transport sector say they believe the high-speed rail project, HS2, will have a positive effect on their business.

The quarterly survey, which canvasses the views of small to medium sized business owners and senior management, also reveals that 54% expect it to increase their growth potential by better connecting them to other UK cities.

Managing Director of the Transport Division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, John Fawcett said: “The HS2 high speed railway project will connect London Euston, the Midlands, North West England, Yorkshire and potentially also the North East of England and the Central Belt of Scotland.

“It is hoped that the project, which is mooted to generate almost £60 billion in user benefits as well as around £13 billion wider economic benefits, will form part of Britain’s core economic infrastructure when complete.

“In theory HS2 will bring a range of benefits to businesses across the UK.  Enhanced connectivity should boost productivity and bring opportunities for increased trade.  It’s also worth noting that it will give cities outside of London a chance to make a wider contribution to the economy.”

The Close Brothers Business Barometer also shows that 28% of transport firms who anticipate benefits from the HS2 project think that they will be able to access a greater talent pool thanks to reduced travelling time between cities.

Furthermore, one in ten of those who took part in the survey are hoping to win a contract to be involved in the build of the project.

“The results of our survey suggest that while construction on the project isn’t due to be begin until 2017, many businesses across the country have already begun to consider the positive impact, both direct and indirect, that it could have on them,” added Mr Fawcett.