The government's recent announcement over plans to go ahead with both phase one and phase two of the new HS2 high-speed national rail network has been met with enthusiasm by industry leaders within the logistics sector.

Based around a 'Y-Shaped' network, HS2 will run from London to Birmingham before forking off in two directions, terminating in both Manchester and Leeds.

The London-Birmingham stretch of the route is due to be completed by 2026, while the rest of the line should be operational by 2032, with journeys between London and Manchester set to take just one hour and eight minutes.

Tony Berkeley, chairman of the Rail Freight Group, says this could provide huge benefits to the nation's ability to transport freight as well as people, commenting that "the need for additional capacity for rail freight on our rail network has been recognised".

Not only will HS2 relieve much of the pressure currently placed on the existing rail network, it will also help to ease congestion on the roads by offering passengers a quicker route between major cities, while providing efficient access to key areas in the West Midlands and north of England at the same time.

All of this is likely to have a significant impact on logistics recruitment in the UK, as an increase in Britain's capacity to transport resources is sure to enable suppliers to expand their operations, resulting in the creation of numerous new jobs.

Yet even though the country's ability to move freight and personnel looks set to increase significantly, the debate over how best to link this network to the rest of the world continues to cause controversy, after it was announced that no spur link between HS2 and Heathrow will be built until after the Davies Inquiry into Britain's airports in 2015.

Current plans state that HS2 will link to the country's largest airport via an 11-minute Crossrail journey from the Old Oak Common interchange in west London.

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