There’s no doubt that the HS2 rail link is highly controversial in this area, not least for the affect on property prices and the disruption of the build itself. But is it good news or bad news for Banbury businesses?
Benefits of HS2
Potentially, there are many benefits of having HS2 so close at hand. For a start, better connections with the North and the Midlands will bring supply chain benefits to a wide variety of local businesses.
There’s also the issues of better and easier employee mobility, whether that’s employees visiting other areas of the country on business, or being able to attract employees who live some distance away.
HS2 is also likely to bring a large amount of inward investment to the area, as companies invest close to the HS2 corridor in order to maximise its benefits.
During the construction phase, this region will benefit employment wise from construction jobs; local businesses will in turn benefit from increased use of shops and local services.
Problems of HS2
It’s not all good news, however. Road congestion in the Banbury area is expected to increase massively both
during construction and afterwards. The pressure this will put on the local infrastructure is enormous, and local businesses may find that their own transport and logistics strategies need a radical overhaul in order to cope.
Along with inward investment in the HS2 corridor comes the inevitable increased competition. High tech industriesin particular are likely to find themselves having to compete harder against new rivals who also have access to the benefits of HS2.
On balance, HS2 appears to be mixed blessing for the local Banbury business community. Although the business benefits appear at first glance to outweigh the business problems, most local business owners are also, of course, local residents – and it could be that the personal, property and environmental concerns over HS2 ultimately carry more weight for them than the potential business benefits.
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