Bill to extend HS2 from Crewe to Manchester is due to go to Parliament today, the Government has announced
The construction of the 52-mile line is expected to create 17,500 construction jobs and the line will reduce travel time from London to Manchester by around 55 minutes and from Birmingham to Manchester by up to 45 minutes.
New railway stations are being built at Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport and a new junction near Crewe is being developed which will not only improve future services on the route but give Crewe the potential to become a central Cheshire hub station , which can accommodate more moves.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“We are committed to improving transport links and enhancing communities across the country and this legislation marks a milestone as we bring HS2 to Manchester and lay the foundation for Northern Powerhouse Rail.
“Our £96 billion investment in rail in the North and Midlands and connecting it to London will bring communities together, create thousands of jobs and make cities in these key areas more attractive to business up to 10 years faster than ever. ”
“The IRP is the blueprint for the Government’s commitment to better connect, create prosperity and opportunity in the North and Midlands, bringing benefits up to 10 years ahead of schedule, while leveling the country.”
However, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham believes the plan is wrong
We remain committed to working with the government to bring HS2 to our metropolitan area. But we remain of the view that this is the wrong plan, both for Greater Manchester and for the north as a whole.
“The construction of HS2 on the surface at Manchester Piccadilly means the new station will be operating at full capacity from day one. This means that the new Liverpool and Leeds train services will have to reverse. And it also means losing forever prime developing land and the economic opportunities that come with it.
“We must also ask again: why is Greater Manchester the only part of the country that is being asked to make a significant financial contribution to the cost of HS2?
“We believe there is a better plan that would do a lot more to put the north of England on par with the south. A subway station would be an investment in building a larger Nordic economy and would pay for itself over time. It could also help build an entirely new line between Manchester and Leeds, which is what we’ve been promised.
“We urge the government to listen to the North and work with us to find the right solution. This decision will have a major impact on the future of the North for the rest of this century and into the next, and it is vital that it is not neglected. We will push for major changes to the bill and seek the support of lawmakers on all sides.”