James Rushton Conservative Candidate for Stoke-on-Trent South has this week launched a petition “NEXT STOP STOKE-ON-TRENT!! Bring the trains to bring the jobs…” to get high speed rail to Stoke-on-Trent.
The Government has set up a company, HS2 Ltd, to look in to the feasibility and to plan a route for a multi billion pound high-speed rail network that is capable of carrying passenger trains at speeds of up-to 400km per hour. The company plans a full public consultation on the recommended route from London to the West Midlands, to start in autumn 2010. HS2 is now starting to work on potential route options for high-speed lines from Birmingham to Manchester, and from Birmingham to Leeds, for consultation later.
James Rushton is spearheading a campaign to make Stoke-on-Trent the next stop, after Birmingham. James, who is also a partner with Baker Tilly, Accountants and Business Advisers on Festival Park, has the backing of a number of business leaders.
In Friday’s Sentinel, Bryan Carnes, Chief Executive of the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, ‘High speed rail will be extremely important in developing the national economy over the next 20 to 30 years.’
‘North Staffordshire needs to ensure that it features strongly in the high-speed rail route network, otherwise the region will fall even further behind the major conurbations like Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.’
James said, ‘I’m calling on the people and business leaders of Stoke-on-Trent to unite so that we can make the best possible case for Stoke-on-Trent. I see getting Stoke-on-Trent on the high-speed network as a vital element of regeneration.’
James launched a petition at Stoke Station on Thursday morning and obtained more than 100 signatures at the station.
He will put the campaign to the Government’s petitions website after Easter. The petition is also available for signing at WATERWORLD on Festival Park and PRUNERS BARBERS in Longton. James will send the list of signatures to the Secretary of State for Transport and HS2.