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HS2 “essential to re-balance the UK’s economy”


HS2 is essential to re-balance the UK’s economy and its future should be resolved without delay.
That’s the message from the North’s leaders, who have called on the team leading the review of the rail project to recognise the benefits to the North of England.
But it is not a view likely to be shared in the Culcheth area of Warrington where the controversial rail line would cut through the village, causing extensive environmental damage and housing blight.
Here, local people are hoping the review will at least result in the axing of the Golborne Link – the spur line which would go through Culcheth and which they claim is unnecessary.
In a submission to Review chairman Doug Oakervee, Transport for the North states that delivering HS2 in full would transform connectivity and support the regeneration of towns and cities. It will also release much-needed capacity for both freight and passenger services across the North.
Elsewhere, Transport for the North say that – given the significant opportunity for the North – political and business leaders must have a clearer role in the development and delivery of HS2, with representation on the HS2 Ltd Board.
Critically, Transport for the North says HS2 is a vital component of a modern and dependable railway and must be planned as part of an integrated approach alongside Northern Powerhouse Rail.
Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse rail director at Transport for the North, said:
“HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, delivered together in full, would tackle head-on the productivity gap between the North and the South, and provide the modern, fit-for-purpose railway the North so badly needs.
“Most of the North’s rail hubs are simply at capacity. Our analysis shows that, by 2050, demand for rail travel in the North could be four times higher than today. But today, the network is struggling to perform and is hampered by slow trains and unreliable services.
“If we’re to cope with rocketing rail demand that comes with the kind of economy we want to see, we need more capacity, faster services and more reliable journeys. Connecting the North with both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail would deliver just that.
“It’s important that the review panel recognise the full opportunity not only by looking at HS2 as purely track and train, but its role at the heart of connecting the North and beyond; regenerating towns and cities; and as a core part of a new integrated railway.”
The submission, which can be read at www.transportforthenorth.com/reports/ outlines how Northern Powerhouse Rail will connect with HS2 at key junctions. It will also use HS2 infrastructure to deliver a step change in East-West connectivity between the North’s towns and cities – delivering better connections and increased opportunities. The Review into HS2 is expected to report its findings this Autumn.


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  1. I’ve been in opposition to the HS2 from day one. The idea of ripping up more and more of Britain’s Green and Pleasant land is absolutely mindblowing.
    Those wanting to get from A to B a few minutes earlier, have not given any thought to the long term effects on the countryside and the people who work the land for their lives.
    As well as many residential areas being destroyed for the sake of a very very few commuters.
    The current budget is well over the original, but the project seems to be a go ahead concept for a minority.
    Trains are prone to delays in Britain, due to weather conditions beyond the control of any party, as was proven in 2017 with the Doris hurricane.
    So forget the project altogether and pay attention to the current lines that can be reopened or improved on.

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