Birmingham Airport chief executive wants high-speed rail link

Paul Kehoe, the chief executive of Birmingham International Airport, has become more vocal in his attempt to bring the new high-speed rail link to the airport, fearing that it may be given to the city centre instead.

He claimed that Birmingham train station is “tired” and that it hasn’t improved much since the 70s. Instead he wants the 200mph service from London to stop at the airport, and said that if it does not then jobs will be lost and investment will go down in the region.

Network Rail currently doesn’t have any plans for a high-speed rail link to the airport, suggesting that it is more likely to go to the city centre. This has led Kehoe to criticise the high-speed link as being more for the benefit of Scotland and the north of England rather than Birmingham.

He also said the link would be the “single most important thing to influence the West Midlands economy” since Birmingham first became connected to the rail network in 1837.

Head of corporate affairs, John Morris, has also written to stakeholders to explain his vision for two high-speed stops in Birmingham. He wants to influence the government inquiry, High Speed Two, and has asked them to write to chairman Sir David Rowlands.

Initial efforts could be working. Now Rowlands has told the Birmingham Post that he thinks the link should go through the airport, suggesting it is more likely the city will just get a spur from the high speed line.

The inquiry will last a year before the decision is taken.

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