City tipped for £15bn high speed rail boom

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HS2 train © Network Rail

HS2 train © Network Rail

Liverpool has moved a step closer to a proposed lucrative high-speed railway connecting to London and Manchester.

The construction of the rail line, which could create a £15bn boost to the local economy and create an estimated 20,000 new jobs, is being pushed by the body behind the HS3 Northern Powerhouse Railway, Transport for the North.

It is believed that the high-speed line could potentially cut journeys between Liverpool and Manchester to 21 minutes, while London could be reached in just 1 hour 32 minutes. The current fastest journeys to both destinations are around 37 minutes and just over two hours, respectively.

Mayor Joe Anderson underlined the importance of Liverpool being part of the high-speed railway.

He said: “Joining Liverpool to HS2 via Northern Powerhouse Rail is vital for our future prosperity and we strongly welcome that this HS2 report recognises the importance of this to Liverpool City Region.

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“It would be a huge boost to our economy that would benefit every family in every part of Liverpool City Region, with the potential for 20,000 new jobs, 10,000 new homes and 2.9 million extra visitors that come with it.”

However, despite the proposals, a high-speed rail for Liverpool is still a long way off. Before work on HS3 can begin, HS2 must be completed – which will first connect London to Birmingham before connecting Golbourne and Leeds. This means the completion of HS3 is still potentially decades away.

Asif Hamid, Interim Chair of Liverpool City Region LEP, is optimistic that the increased accessibility to other major cities that the railway would bring could only impact Liverpool positively.

He said: “Our economy is already booming in the Liverpool City Region and has enormous extra potential that can be unlocked in our port, freight and logistics and other sectors by ensuring we have world class transport connectivity.

“Business is united with the public bodies across the City Region in calling for this and realizing the huge economic benefits this will bring.”

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About Joshua Doherty, JMU Journalism