City ‘will benefit from HS2 line’

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HS2 train © Network Rail

HS2 train © Network Rail

Liverpool’s economy will be boosted by the new proposed High Speed 2 rail link which will improve connections from the city to the rest of the country, according to government Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

Legislation has been announced today that aims for a brand new rail line to be put in place which will help cut the journey time from Liverpool to London.

The £32.7bn High Speed 2 (HS2) rail line, announced earlier this year, will not extend to Merseyside but the government insists it will bring benefits to the region, with 100,000 jobs on the construction of the railway line and its maintenance, plus new station hubs driving surrounding commerce and regeneration.

Liverpool to London  train journeys currently take over two hours but with the new plans it will be cut by half an hour to 1 hour 36 minutes.

Paul Malley, transport officer at Liverpool City Council, told JMU Journalism: “We are clear that High Speed 2 will provide a boost to the economy in Liverpool and improve connections from the city to the rest of the country.

“On January 28 we announced the initial preferred route for the high speed line from Birmingham to the North West and Leeds. It will be consulted upon later this year before a final decision is taken.”

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced plans to introduce a Paving Bill which gives the government financial power to move faster on construction design.  The bill will be specifying when the 351-mile track will be built.

He said: “High speed rail is an engine for growth that will help drive regional regeneration, secure economic prosperity across Britain and support tens of thousands of jobs. It is vital we press ahead with delivering this crucial project as quickly as possible.

“Introducing a Paving Bill will allow Parliament to make a clear commitment to high speed rail. Crucially, it will also give us the spending powers much sooner that will enable us to get moving on the detailed design work for the scheme.

“This is an opportunity for all three main political parties to reaffirm their support for high speed rail and maintain the ambitious programme we have set for HS2.”

When proposals to bring the link to Manchester and Leeds were announced in January business leaders in the region called for the network to be extended to reach Liverpool.

They claimed Manchester and Leeds could gain greater benefit from high-speed routes.

The line is set to be completed by 2032.

About Sanna Zahid, JMU Journalism