HS2 rail line 'to boost northern economy'

Prime Minister David Cameron believes HS2 would boost Britain's stagnant economy.

Prime Minister David Cameron believes HS2 would boost Britain's stagnant economy.

First published in News
Last updated

The routes of high-speed rail links to cities in the north of England have been unveiled, in a move Prime Minister David Cameron said would boost Britain's stagnant economy.

Extending the already-planned London to Birmingham HS2 line as far as Manchester and Leeds is designed to cut journey times, ease overcrowding and boost regional business.

Officials say the £32.7 billion project will create at least 100,000 jobs but the Government is braced for a fresh backlash from rural communities through which the line will pass and some controversy over the chosen location of stations.

The Department for Transport said there would be five stops on the 211-mile Y-shaped extension northwards from Birmingham - scheduled to be completed in 2032, six years after the first phase:

They are: Manchester - alongside the existing Piccadilly station; Manchester Airport - interchange by the M56 between Warburton Green and Davenport Green; in the East Midlands - at Toton, between Nottingham and Derby and one mile from the M1; Sheffield - at Meadowhall shopping centre and Leeds - at New Lane in the South bank area connected to the main station by walkway.

There will also be a "dedicated link" alongside the high-speed line at Crewe to link up with standard trains - reducing journey times to Liverpool and Glasgow. A proposed spur to Heathrow has been put on hold pending the results of Sir Howard Davies' review of future airport capacity.

The project has been welcomed by many civic and business leaders in the region but the first tranche proved controversial, especially in picturesque Tory heartlands which will be affected, such as the Chilterns, infuriating MPs and countryside campaigners.

Labour backs HS2 but says there are "worrying signs" that the timetable is slipping. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that he intended to bring forward the consultation on phase two to begin this year, not 2014, and has asked officials to see whether the entire project can be speeded up.

Chancellor George Osborne said HS2 would be an "engine for growth" in the North and Midlands, creating tens of thousands of jobs across the country.

He acknowledged widespread opposition to the line from communities along its route which face "very difficult" disruption to their lives, but said the economic benefits were "pretty compelling".

Comments (13)

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10:50am Mon 28 Jan 13

And Justice For All says...

So, faster trains to bring Cancellor Rimmers cakes and pies quicker up the country but what about the destruction of some amazing parts of this country. If the news is correct, thousands of people will be expected to simply move house so their homes can be levelled for the new line(s) . Also, where is the money coming from? In a time where we're being told there is no money and our loyal troops who have risked their lives fighting wars for the americans are being laid off, this is another two fingered salute to the regular folk of the UK strugling to just get by.
So, faster trains to bring Cancellor Rimmers cakes and pies quicker up the country but what about the destruction of some amazing parts of this country. If the news is correct, thousands of people will be expected to simply move house so their homes can be levelled for the new line(s) . Also, where is the money coming from? In a time where we're being told there is no money and our loyal troops who have risked their lives fighting wars for the americans are being laid off, this is another two fingered salute to the regular folk of the UK strugling to just get by. And Justice For All
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Mon 28 Jan 13

keepitreel says...

the amount quoted is for the whole scheme that will take twenty years,as for the armed forces were they not paid when doing their service and will they not get redundancy pay,the country needs large scale infrastructure and jobs to boost the economy,if we had your mentality justice4all,we would still be using cart tracks,do you never use a motorway or the link road in ST HELENS this ran through a park,were was your letters to the press then?.
the amount quoted is for the whole scheme that will take twenty years,as for the armed forces were they not paid when doing their service and will they not get redundancy pay,the country needs large scale infrastructure and jobs to boost the economy,if we had your mentality justice4all,we would still be using cart tracks,do you never use a motorway or the link road in ST HELENS this ran through a park,were was your letters to the press then?. keepitreel
  • Score: 0

6:46pm Mon 28 Jan 13

anthonywilson says...

It's a very complex engineering project and there's plenty of arguments on both sides both for and against HS2.
We won't honestly know if there are any benefits to the majority of us until if and when it is actually built and completed which is almost twenty years off if everything does go to plan (which is unlikely).
When HS1 and Eurostar was being built it was stated at the time then that there would be a Manchester to Paris and Brussels service which didn't materialised partly due to the growth low cost airlines at the time.
The project is certainly good news for jobs and for improving rail infrastructure, not so if your about to lose a home or business because of it. I have very mixed opinions about it as the country is basically bankrupt yet we can suddenly find the money for such a project and yet it might be the thing we need to boost jobs and hopefull the regional economies. It should help to cut down domestic flights especially if Heathrow airport is closed and a new airport is built further away from London.
Will it help to rebalance the economy at the expense of the environment well that's a tricky one and only time will tell.
Its also fair to say that there are other rail projects in the North West that would cost a fraction of the cost of HS2 but would help enormously with our local economy. Reinstating the The Halton Curve so direct trains can run from N Wales to Liverpool and vice versa is just one I can think off not to mention reinstating the link between St Helens Central and St Helens Junction. Would the money have also be better spent in ensuring that the whole of the UK train network is electrified. The route from Crewe to Holyhead is crying out for this and it gets forgotten about all the time.
It's a very complex engineering project and there's plenty of arguments on both sides both for and against HS2. We won't honestly know if there are any benefits to the majority of us until if and when it is actually built and completed which is almost twenty years off if everything does go to plan (which is unlikely). When HS1 and Eurostar was being built it was stated at the time then that there would be a Manchester to Paris and Brussels service which didn't materialised partly due to the growth low cost airlines at the time. The project is certainly good news for jobs and for improving rail infrastructure, not so if your about to lose a home or business because of it. I have very mixed opinions about it as the country is basically bankrupt yet we can suddenly find the money for such a project and yet it might be the thing we need to boost jobs and hopefull the regional economies. It should help to cut down domestic flights especially if Heathrow airport is closed and a new airport is built further away from London. Will it help to rebalance the economy at the expense of the environment well that's a tricky one and only time will tell. Its also fair to say that there are other rail projects in the North West that would cost a fraction of the cost of HS2 but would help enormously with our local economy. Reinstating the The Halton Curve so direct trains can run from N Wales to Liverpool and vice versa is just one I can think off not to mention reinstating the link between St Helens Central and St Helens Junction. Would the money have also be better spent in ensuring that the whole of the UK train network is electrified. The route from Crewe to Holyhead is crying out for this and it gets forgotten about all the time. anthonywilson
  • Score: 0

8:25am Tue 29 Jan 13

And Justice For All says...

I love it when I get misinterpreted!
I love it when I get misinterpreted! And Justice For All
  • Score: 0

10:27am Tue 29 Jan 13

Sankey says...

I don't understand the project. Far better to upgrade existing rail network including local lines. That would generate the local economy quicker. I can understand it would allow more freight on the line but getting into London half an hour earlier i cannot grasp what that would achieve. Seems a lot of money to do little and far into the future. I think the government is just desperate to be seen to be doing something.
I don't understand the project. Far better to upgrade existing rail network including local lines. That would generate the local economy quicker. I can understand it would allow more freight on the line but getting into London half an hour earlier i cannot grasp what that would achieve. Seems a lot of money to do little and far into the future. I think the government is just desperate to be seen to be doing something. Sankey
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Tue 29 Jan 13

jimstevo says...

I totally agree with 'Sankey'! This money should be spent to upgrade existing rail services. Particularly in this North. Our rolling stock is ancient and even when the lines from Liverpool to Manchester and Wigan is electrified ,we will be getting London's cast-off trains while they get new ones for their Crossrail Project.
I don't understand with this fixation of everyone wanting to get to London quicker! What will be a major outcome of this project will be people commuting to and from London and will vastly increase house prices in Towns and Cities on the proposed Route.
This has happened in the Gloucestershire area when the line to London was improved and locals now can't afford to buy property there.Also for the next 20 years all the areas close to the proposed route will be 'blighted' and residents will have trouble selling their properties and what will probably happen is the cash will run out and the line will stop at Birmingham! Waste of money,could be better spent !
I totally agree with 'Sankey'! This money should be spent to upgrade existing rail services. Particularly in this North. Our rolling stock is ancient and even when the lines from Liverpool to Manchester and Wigan is electrified ,we will be getting London's cast-off trains while they get new ones for their Crossrail Project. I don't understand with this fixation of everyone wanting to get to London quicker! What will be a major outcome of this project will be people commuting to and from London and will vastly increase house prices in Towns and Cities on the proposed Route. This has happened in the Gloucestershire area when the line to London was improved and locals now can't afford to buy property there.Also for the next 20 years all the areas close to the proposed route will be 'blighted' and residents will have trouble selling their properties and what will probably happen is the cash will run out and the line will stop at Birmingham! Waste of money,could be better spent ! jimstevo
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Bill Bradbury says...

Don't get your knickers in a twist sankey. You and I will never see this happen. The Nimby's and Luddites will see to that plus the fat lawyers who will get richer by all the public inquiries that this Governmnet loves. HS2 through Tory-land especially the Buckinghamshire/Chil
tern Valley, which I know well and visit often, will be reisted to the last.

You obviously don't travel on the overworked West Coast line often, standing room only well past the 10 am train and try getting a seat Friday afternoon.

No money to spend but plenty on Wars, Aid which is pocketed and MOD contracts which are all over budget. But we have both discussed this "con" before and won't agree. Deficit budgets have always been with us since post WW1, coming off the Gold Standard in the 30's and the IMF bailouts of the 70's, 80's and 90's.

I am all for HS2 a promise given to the Northern the building of the Channel Tunnel.
A blot on the landscape? Try and spot it now in Kent which I spent years passing the scars as it was being built and now it is unseen as nature has screened it plus tunnels and cuttings.
Don't get your knickers in a twist sankey. You and I will never see this happen. The Nimby's and Luddites will see to that plus the fat lawyers who will get richer by all the public inquiries that this Governmnet loves. HS2 through Tory-land especially the Buckinghamshire/Chil tern Valley, which I know well and visit often, will be reisted to the last. You obviously don't travel on the overworked West Coast line often, standing room only well past the 10 am train and try getting a seat Friday afternoon. No money to spend but plenty on Wars, Aid which is pocketed and MOD contracts which are all over budget. But we have both discussed this "con" before and won't agree. Deficit budgets have always been with us since post WW1, coming off the Gold Standard in the 30's and the IMF bailouts of the 70's, 80's and 90's. I am all for HS2 a promise given to the Northern the building of the Channel Tunnel. A blot on the landscape? Try and spot it now in Kent which I spent years passing the scars as it was being built and now it is unseen as nature has screened it plus tunnels and cuttings. Bill Bradbury
  • Score: 0

1:15pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Bill Bradbury says...

Jim Stevo the cast off trains Type 319 will have to be totally re-furbed before we get them as they do not reach disabled standards, nor the electrification which will have to be modified to work on an uprated supply.

The new trains for cross-rail have not yet been "signed off" by Government so that will be yet another delay in the NW electrification so we will continue to have Pacers and diesels running under electric lines and the whole lot will be over budget.

One Rail Mag. put a 2017 date before we see any type 319's.--old stock as you rightly claim but it was ever this for us in the NW.
Jim Stevo the cast off trains Type 319 will have to be totally re-furbed before we get them as they do not reach disabled standards, nor the electrification which will have to be modified to work on an uprated supply. The new trains for cross-rail have not yet been "signed off" by Government so that will be yet another delay in the NW electrification so we will continue to have Pacers and diesels running under electric lines and the whole lot will be over budget. One Rail Mag. put a 2017 date before we see any type 319's.--old stock as you rightly claim but it was ever this for us in the NW. Bill Bradbury
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Tue 29 Jan 13

jimstevo says...

Bill,Also no lifts at stations such as Garswood because they are too expensive to install. A disabled lad in my street to get to St Helens, needs to catch a train towards Wigan and then return to St Helens . On certain trips when the St Helens Lift was not working he had to get off at Thatto Heath ,go over to the other platform via the ramps and get the train back to St Helens! It took him 90 minutes to get to St Helens! A journey that would take an able bodied person 8 minutes!
The money shoud definitely be used on existing rail lines!
Bill,Also no lifts at stations such as Garswood because they are too expensive to install. A disabled lad in my street to get to St Helens, needs to catch a train towards Wigan and then return to St Helens . On certain trips when the St Helens Lift was not working he had to get off at Thatto Heath ,go over to the other platform via the ramps and get the train back to St Helens! It took him 90 minutes to get to St Helens! A journey that would take an able bodied person 8 minutes! The money shoud definitely be used on existing rail lines! jimstevo
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Bill Bradbury says...

jimstevo I did read recently as an answer to investment in the current set up that £92m is earmarked. HS2 is a seperate fund and easily affordable if you don't swallow the "we are broke" excuse to do all sorts of nasty things to workers and those on benefits, (excluding cheats). Not so broke enabling us to start another campaign in Africa.

Garswood has always been a problem often commented upon by our local Cllrs. especially the parking problem, disabled access and our "cattle shed" waiting room.
jimstevo I did read recently as an answer to investment in the current set up that £92m is earmarked. HS2 is a seperate fund and easily affordable if you don't swallow the "we are broke" excuse to do all sorts of nasty things to workers and those on benefits, (excluding cheats). Not so broke enabling us to start another campaign in Africa. Garswood has always been a problem often commented upon by our local Cllrs. especially the parking problem, disabled access and our "cattle shed" waiting room. Bill Bradbury
  • Score: 0

9:42am Fri 1 Feb 13

jumper says...

Put a banking system up this neck of the woods, and then go high speed to Europe on our eastern side. As it it was pointed out London is a Country of its own,so let's move some where it is needed up here?
Put a banking system up this neck of the woods, and then go high speed to Europe on our eastern side. As it it was pointed out London is a Country of its own,so let's move some where it is needed up here? jumper
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Sat 2 Feb 13

MrBenggo says...

Before spending money on new railways they should get the roads repaired,they are just getting worse with potholes everywhere.
But,they don't have any money,or so we're told.
Before spending money on new railways they should get the roads repaired,they are just getting worse with potholes everywhere. But,they don't have any money,or so we're told. MrBenggo
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Sun 3 Feb 13

Bill Bradbury says...

MrBenngoo "So we are told". At last someone who is not swallowing the Tory line "we are broke". We read today more Aid to be sent abroad to be pocketed by some corrupt regime. So are not all that broke?
MrBenngoo "So we are told". At last someone who is not swallowing the Tory line "we are broke". We read today more Aid to be sent abroad to be pocketed by some corrupt regime. So are not all that broke? Bill Bradbury
  • Score: 0

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