HS2 consultation welcomed

Merseytravel hosted an event with over 100 leaders from business, commerce, public sector and environmental interest groups to share information in advance of the forthcoming Department for Transport consultation on the national High Speed 2 Phase 2 rail project.

Under the scheme journey times between Liverpool and London will improve significantly to 1 hour 36 minutes, over half an hour quicker than existing West Coast Mainline services. The new line will also see capacity on existing intercity lines being freed up for greater freight and local capacity, bringing additional benefits to the region.

Phase 1 of the project brings high-speed journeys between London and Birmingham whilst it is proposed Phase 2 will extend the line in two branches – one to Leeds and one to Manchester. Trains to and from Liverpool will travel at maximum speed between London and Crewe, before branching off to use the existing inter city lines between Crewe and Liverpool Lime Street.

Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel said, “The HS2 project is a major long term strategic development for the UK and will have significant impact for those who live, work, visit and invest in the Liverpool City Region. It is important that stakeholders across the City Region have the up to date technical information necessary to take part in the important debate surrounding the project and Merseytravel, as the statutory local transport body, has the responsibility to provide that information through events like today.

“Our aim is to work together and with government to ensure that the High Speed 2 rail project improves the City Region’s connectivity and that the economic and other benefits are maximised.

Mayor Joe Anderson said, “The High Speed 2 rail scheme offers significant economic benefits for the Liverpool City Region and partners have today demonstrated a positive commitment to embracing the opportunities and making the most of them. At the same time we still maintain a clear vision that full high-speed rail services must come to Liverpool and we will continue to make that case strongly to government.”

The formal consultation is expected to commence in summer with the lines scheduled to be completed by 2032.

Picture L-R – Robert Hough, Chair, Liverpool LEP – Louise Ellman MP for Riverside, Chair of Transport Select Committee – Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool –
Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair, Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority –
David Prout, Director General, HS2, Department for Transport –