Passengers across the North West are one step closer to faster, greener and more reliable train services as the Government will today (24th January) introduce the Bill for the next phase of HS2.
Once approved, the ‘High Speed Rail (Crewe-Manchester) Bill’ will allow HS2 to continue its journey from Crewe up to Manchester, creating a new transport spine across the North West and boosting local economies through better connections, more capacity, improved reliability and slashed journey times. This includes cutting travel from London to Manchester by around 55 minutes and Birmingham to Manchester by up to 45 minutes.
It is also set to bring 17,500 direct jobs to Northern communities supporting the construction of the Crewe-Manchester leg and thousands of further jobs in the supply chain expected to follow. These includes hundreds of highly skilled permanent jobs, including in rolling stock depots to be established north of Crewe as well as in Dumfries and Galloway.
The introduction of this Bill marks the next chapter in a project that is already well underway by connecting three of England’s greatest cities – London, Birmingham and Manchester. This next phase will give the North West the tools it needs to further generate economic growth and level up across the region, with new stations supporting one of the UK’s fastest growing cities at Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport.
Part of the new high speed line will also be used for Northern Powerhouse Rail services between Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool, helping cut the Manchester Piccadilly – Liverpool journey to 35 minutes and Leeds-Liverpool to around an hour and a quarter.
The construction of HS2 to Manchester will allow capacity to double, or more, on the routes between Manchester and London/Birmingham. When NPR is completed, similar capacity increases to Leeds and Liverpool will follow, with trains using the High Speed Line and stations at Manchester.
The plans are all part of the £96bn Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) – the biggest ever public investment in Britain’s rail network – and the first of three new high speed lines being planned, to add more seats, shorten journey times, support local services and deliver a modern, fully connected transport network fit for Manchester and the North West.
Andy Burnham though is not happy with the plans claiming the plan is wrong for Greater Manchester and for the North as a whole.
The mayor said:
“We remain committed to working with the Government to bring HS2 to our city-region. But we remain of the view that this is the wrong plan, both for Greater Manchester and for the North as a whole.
“Building HS2 on the surface at Manchester Piccadilly means the new station will be at full capacity from day one. It means the new train services from Liverpool and Leeds having to reverse out. And it also means forever losing prime development land and the economic opportunity that goes with it.
“We also again have to ask again: why is Greater Manchester the only part of the country being asked to make a substantial financial contribution to the cost of HS2?
“We believe there is a better plan which would do much more to level up the North of England with the South. An underground station would be an investment in building a bigger Northern economy and would pay for itself over time. It could also help deliver an entirely new line between Manchester and Leeds, which is what we were promised.
“We call on the Government to listen to the North and work with us to get right solution. This decision will have a huge bearing on the future of the North for the rest of this century and the next and it is vital that it is not sold short. We will be pressing the case for major changes to the Bill and seeking the support of MPs on all sides.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“We are determined to improve transport connections and level up communities across the country and this Bill marks a landmark moment as we bring HS2 to Manchester and lay the foundations for Northern Powerhouse Rail.
“Our £96bn investment in rail in the North and Midlands and in connecting them to London will bring communities together, create thousands of jobs and make towns and cities in these key areas more attractive to business up to 10 years quicker than under any previous plans.
“The IRP is the blueprint for the government’s commitment to building better transport links, generating prosperity and opportunity across the North and Midlands bringing benefits up to 10 years sooner than previously planned, all while delivering on levelling up the country.”
HS2 will also cause problems for residents in both Partington and Warburton, although many consultations will take place to ease concerns it will be of little comfort for them, lots of background noise day and night, light pollution mostly for Warburton residents.
Having a speeding train will cause lots of noise that will be heard for miles, more delays to Warburton Lane for months!
We are not happy at all with the destruction of the green belt, tearing down trees faster than Trafford Council can and no thought for wildlife, although credit to HS2 they have preserved things and increased habitats in some places.
Credit to them also for preserving historical finds where people have been using metal detectors for years these guys have the best equipment to find not only hidden treasure but also hidden historical graveyards and other infrastructure, this part of HS2 will be very interesting to historians.
Once completed the viaduct over Manchester Ship Canal will look stunning and expect many photographers and train spotters to be present on most days.
HS2 has its pro’s and con’s either way its coming to Manchester and soon!