Liverpool high-speed rail link plans reach major milestone
Liverpool City Region’s campaign for high-speed rail links has reached a major milestone with the publication of a £70 billion plan to transform the North’s transport infrastructure over the next 30 years.
Transport for the North’s Strategic Transport Plan and Investment Programme, sets out a commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail by connecting the Liverpool City Region to HS2 via a new twin-track line between Liverpool and Manchester and then on to other Northern cities.
The inclusion of the proposals is seen, for the first time, as formal acknowledgement by those outside the city region that this investment makes sound economic sense, with the city region alone set to benefit from £15bn in economic growth, 24,000 new jobs, 11,000 new homes and 3.6m more visitors a year.
Northern Powerhouse Rail and its connections with HS2 will offer faster passenger journeys and will provide the capacity needed for the doubling of passenger numbers over the coming decades. It is also hoped that it will free up capacity on the existing network for freight, helping the Port of Liverpool fully capitalise on its position as a western-facing port.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“This is a very significant milestone that shows the whole of the North, Network Rail and the Department for Transport backing our case for north-south and west-east high-speed links.
“These links should generate £15bn of economic growth for the Liverpool City Region, by connecting people with opportunities, to create 24,000 new jobs, 11,000 new homes, and 3.6m additional visitors per year.
“We have got to this point through the efforts of all our civic and business leaders who have helped us make the case over many years that without the Liverpool City Region the economic benefits of any strategic rail investment in the north will never be fully realised.
“We have made our case but we are not over the line yet. When this plan is approved we need the government to put its money where its mouth is, and come forward with its delivery proposals as soon as possible.”