Following the announcement today that Britain will have a national high speed rail network from 2026 the Chair of Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority has released the following statement:

“High Speed Rail has the potential to offer real benefits to the North of England by reducing journey times and improving connectivity between our Core Cities. It will be important to ensure that this phase of construction is just the first part of a wider national High Speed Rail network serving the whole of the country and that this project is complemented by continued investment in our local and regional rail infrastructure to ensure the best possible public transport service for the people of Tyne and Wear.

“Whilst welcoming the announcement it is disappointing to note that Tyne and Wear is not scheduled to benefit directly for many years to come and potential High Speed Rail passengers from the area will have to travel to access the new network.

“In the short term I would welcome more investment in the existing East Coast mainline services and ensure that Tyne and Wear does not lose out on potential economic and social benefits.”