Liverpool link would be a natural start for HS3
20 Miles more, who kick-started Liverpool’s bid for a High Speed rail link, has expressed its concern about the implications of the announcement by Government and HS2 Chair, Sir David Higgins, which sees the city still omitted from the proposed HS2 route in the Rebalancing Britain report.
20 Miles More believes that connecting Liverpool and Manchester under HS2 would then create the obvious starting point for any HS3 proposals to join up the major Northern cities on an East-West line.
Andrew Morris, chair of the business-led 20 Miles More group, explained:
“We were not entirely surprised that there were no new announcements about a potential HS2 link to Liverpool in the announcement. But the proposals for a so-called HS3 East – West link are frankly disappointing. We very much agree with the view expressed by Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson that the idea that Liverpool might not even be part of this investment would be shocking and illogical.”
20 Miles More are due to publish their own report advocating a comprehensive HS3 line starting with a connection between Liverpool and Manchester. Martin Sloman, who co-authored the report with Gareth Parr, commented:
“In terms of existing passenger demand, proximity and economic links it’s a bit of a no-brainer. Liverpool and Manchester are already beginning to function as an embryonic super-city. In terms of population and international connections, via port and airport, they have the critical mass and potential to become a counterweight to London. If HS3 is about re-balancing the UK economy then Liverpool should be vital and not peripheral. Today’s announcement is in danger of unbalancing our regional economies and consolidating prosperity and investment within a narrow spine rather than across the full breadth of the north.”
20 Miles More have pledged to redouble their own campaigning efforts and build the widest possible coalition behind the call for a direct High Speed link to Liverpool.
“We started this campaign with a very simple call for 20 miles of additional track to take HS2 to the UK’s western gateway and one of its fastest growing city economies. That call is now stronger than ever. That link needs to be considered as a next stage of HS2, and not simply an element of HS3 which, at the moment is nothing more than an uncosted aspiration.
`Those 20 miles would then provide the impetus for HS3 and stimulate the creation of a Northern Powerhouse at precisely the point where that potential already exists.”
Click here to see the Rebalancing Britain report