Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (28th January 2013) intervened in the debate on the new proposals for High Speed Rail north of Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds to stress that the government must act to see that British Industry – and the Teesside steel industry – will benefit from orders that would follow approval of the route.
“From a North East perspective we continue to be left behind in terms of transport infrastructure. I’ve been campaigning for some time now for the need to improve links for our area and particularly in regards to the electrification of the line linking Middlesbrough with the East Coast Main Line. Given that the extension plans for new high speed line seems to look no further North than Leeds the government are continuing to demonstrate their failure to invest in transport infrastructure in the North East.
“One way of overcoming this disadvantage would be a firm declaration by Government that they would prioritise the ordering of steel from the UK – including Teesside – for HS2. Both SSI’s Redcar Plant and the Lackenby Beam Mill would benefit from this, as could the Skinningrove plant in East Cleveland which has had a history of forging and rolling high quality rail. The Lackenby Beam Mill too, would be an ideal source of the beams and sections needed for the overhead gantries. We have a tradition of top class and global standard steelmaking, and there would be both pride and relief for our area if we were to hear that the passengers on HS2 would be riding smoothly and safely on Teesside Steel.”