Open Letter: 20 Miles More
HS2 is hailed as a vital piece of national infrastructure designed to bring prosperity to the regions and help rebalance the UK’s economy. We are therefore deeply concerned that the current proposals do not include a direct link to Liverpool; the nation’s gateway to two of its greatest trading partners – Ireland and the United States.
Liverpool is the largest city in the North and Midlands without a dedicated link or station on HS2. With the £1.8 billion SuperPort expansion, it will also be the UK’s only west coast port equipped to handle the new generation of Post-Panamax ocean carriers. Without a direct link to HS2 the potential of this investment will be jeopardized with rapidly increasing passenger and freight traffic having to share an already congested Victorian railway.
Liverpool is vital to Britain’s status as a major trading nation. The city has in recent years experienced a remarkable renaissance and levels of economic growth second only to London.
Just 20 Miles More rail route is needed to enable Liverpool to play its full part in supporting Britain’s economic renaissance – a small but crucial addition to the 330 mile HS2 network.
This is why we are promoting a compelling business and economic case for an HS2 link to the Liverpool City Region. Studies demonstrate direct benefits of up to £2.70 for every £1 spent on this link compared to a return of only £1.80 for the project as a whole.
20 Miles More adds as little as £1.5 billion to the £42.6 billion cost of HS2, yet that additional investment could generate £8 billion over 20 years for the economy of Liverpool and the North West.
In 1830 a group of Liverpool businessmen changed the world. They took the lead in backing the revolutionary Liverpool and Manchester railway. In so doing they brought cities and people closer together, transformed trade and altered the course of history.
In 2030 we have the opportunity to deliver another visionary rail project. By backing the 20 Miles More campaign, we will secure the missing link that enables HS2 to fulfil its key economic aim of rebalancing the UK economy.
Today we urge the Government to support the linking of Liverpool to the HS2 network, with a pledge to go 20 Miles More.
Phillip Blond Director of think-tank ResPublica
Professor Tom Cannon Professor of Strategic Development at the University of Liverpool Management School
Earl of Derby President of Liverpool, Knowsley and Sefton Chambers of Commerce
Professor Sir Peter Hall Professor of Planning and Regeneration at The Bartlett, University College London
Tom Morris Founder of Home Bargains
Jim Teasdale Chief Executive, Mersey Maritime Group
Dr Geoff Wainwright Founder and Executive Director at 2Bio Ltd, a Merseybio Incubator Company
Guy Wallis Co-founder of Liverpool-based leading UK law firm DWF; founder of Liverpool in London Business Embassy
Professor Ian Wray Department of Geography and Planning and Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, University of Liverpool