A united campaign to bring High Speed Rail to the Liverpool City Region has been launched.
The High Speed Rail – Linking Liverpool campaign aims to persuade the Government to change current plans for HS2, which see High Speed Rail bypassing the region.
Public and private sector leaders are backing the campaign – with the message that the City Region, the North and the UK as a whole will benefit from bringing High Speed Rail into Liverpool.
“High Speed Rail would bring enormous benefits to the City Region – an £8.3bn boost to our economy, more jobs, more visitors,” said Cllr Phil Davies, Chair of the Combined Authority.
“Delivering full High Speed Rail connectivity into Liverpool City Centre is vital not just for the city itself but for the whole City Region and beyond.
“This City Region-wide campaign builds on the excellent work already being undertaken by Liverpool City Council, Merseytravel and the business-led 20 Miles More campaign adding to the united voices making the case for linking Liverpool to full High Speed Rail.”
Robert Hough, Chair of the City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “There is much talk about developing a northern economic powerhouse. This cannot happen without Liverpool – a strong and growing economy with enormous potential for future growth – being fully connected.”
“Therefore, it is essential that we invest in infrastructure, such as High Speed Rail to achieve a rebalancing of our economy that will ultimately help our businesses grow and create jobs for our residents.”
Teams of campaign staff will be out on the streets throughout the City Region over the next few weeks, encouraging members of the public and businesses to pledge support.
Research shows that a direct High Speed connection into Liverpool will bring:
An overall £8.3bn boost to the Liverpool City Region economy
14,000 new jobs – or up to 26,000 if wider regeneration linked to HS2 is taken into account.
An additional £30m a year in business rates, meaning more money for local services.
20,000 more people looking to make the Liverpool City Region their home – good news for the construction industry in meeting the demand for 10,000 new houses
Better, faster connectivity to Liverpool through High Speed Rail could encourage even more people to take holidays in the city and surrounding areas, or start them here – 723,000 additional visitors, spending around £87m, supporting around 1,740 additional jobs and £66m in annual GVA.
In addition, High Speed 2 would support the region’s ‘freight and logistics hub’ aspirations, increasing capacity for freight movements within the City Region and from here to the national network.
It is estimated that that alone could mean up to 20,000 new jobs being created throughout the City Region.
Andrew Morris, Director of business organisation 20 Miles More, said: “There’s no doubt that bringing High Speed Rail into Liverpool will have enormous benefits for the City Region, and we have been working with our partners to gather support and make the case.
“The High Speed Rail – Linking Liverpool campaign will build on this work and we will back any initiative which will strengthen the City Region’s prospects of benefiting from High Speed Rail and the connectivity it will bring.”
Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel, added: “It’s important that the people of the region show they are behind the campaign and recognise the benefits High Speed Rail will bring.
“The economic benefits will be significant for future generations and we owe it to them to make sure High Speed Rail comes here.”