Liverpool Councillors back HS2 call from city mayor Joe Anderson
The Mayor tabled a motion at a meeting of the full council held at the Town Hall.
Councillors then carried the motion in support of calls for HS2 to be extended to Liverpool.
It noted an announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer “to start a conversation” about the east-west High Speed 3 (HS3) route and welcomed that this will be fed into a review of the second stage of HS2.
The motion outlined that the council also welcomed the establishment of the business–led 20 Miles More campaign to secure Liverpool’s inclusion on the network.
It noted the council welcomed the campaign for the first stage of HS3 to start from Liverpool and believed the Chancellor’s announcement strengthened the compelling argument for a direct HS2 connection to Liverpool.
The authority reiterated its support for a direct HS2 connection to Liverpool and for an East-West HS3 route from Liverpool.
The Mayor also said that Liverpool “won’t be left behind” and he added: “We need to get the east-west connection.
“We need to be connected with cities like Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.”
Prime Minister says there is ‘strong case to be made’ for Liverpool’s inclusion in High Speed rail network
David Cameron vows to look carefully at campaigners’ arguments for link to be brought to city
David Cameron today said there was a “strong case to be made” for the high speed rail network to be brought to Liverpool – and vowed to look carefully at the arguments made for its inclusion.
Fears have been raised that if, as is currently set to be the case, Liverpool misses out on the proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) network, those benefits will be lost to other cities, with investors turning to the likes of Manchester or Leeds which are on the route.
Mr Cameron said: “Obviously there’s a strong case to be made and it’s quite right for the Liverpool Echo, local MPs, city leaders and others to make that case.”
Liverpool is set for a new era of sea trade with the opening of Peel Port’s £350m Liverpool 2 container berth late next year, which can handle 90% of the world’s container ships.
The city is positioning itself as ‘the port for the north’, but those plans could be jeopardised if Liverpool is not part of the HS2 network, according to campaigners.
Cllr Phil Davies, chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Local Authorities said the scheme only works if there’s a connection between the Liverpool 2 berth and the rest of the north.
But Mr Cameron said: “There’s no doubt that the government is giving real priority to Liverpool with the electrification of the existing line taking place, the expansion of the ports so the Panamax containers can come in to Liverpool, obviously the trans-pennine line that’s being electrified, that will help the connectivity of all the major cities in the north west.
“So there’s no question of Liverpool missing out, it’s how best to capture the benefits from the big investment that’s coming in.”
Liverpool Businesses’ call for better transport infrastructure
Improving transport infrastructure in the North West would help the most in making the region a better place to do business, according to the findings of the inaugural EY Regional Response.
The poll questioned Insider readers on what they felt would bring the most benefits, with 42.6 per cent saying greater investment in transport infrastructure would provide the biggest boost.
In second place was offering better business support initiatives (19.7 per cent), greater investment in skills was third (14.8 per cent) while 11.5 per cent thought sector-focused business hubs could help the most.
Closer working relationship between the public and private sector polled 6.6 per cent and greater support for exports was at 4.9 per cent.
The majority of respondents said extending the planned HS2 rail network to Liverpool could be vital in ensuring the region remains an attractive place to do business.
Currently, the proposed HS2 route – known as the ‘Y’ extension which will branch off from Birmingham to the North West and Yorkshire – does not go through Liverpool. Instead the city would be joined up with the high-speed line via a connection from the West Coast Mainline at Crewe.
But the 20 Miles More campaign, established by a group of business leaders, has claimed an extension of the HS2 line could generate £8bn for the Liverpool city region’s economy over the next 20 years.
Insider news editor David Casey said: “The results of the first EY Regional Response shows that businesses clearly feel improving transport links will be key to the region’s future as a location to do business.
“Schemes such as the £600m Northern Hub, which will improve rail links across the north, are vital but companies need investments like this to happen faster.
“HS2 will bring about a welcome change but the scheduled completion date for isn’t until 2032 – by that time the North West could already have been left behind by its UK and international rivals.”
Earlier this year, North West Business Insider launched a campaign to call for the delivery of HS2 to be brought forward, backed by ten high-profile business including Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein and Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson.
Small Business, Big Benefits
Director of Aeolian & 20 Miles More
Small businesses in the Liverpool City Region no longer have small ambitions. My business, Aeolian, although having fewer than 10 employees provides strategic IT consultancy to global companies like the Shell, with over 92,000 employees.
The Internet and has greatly helped with this – conference calls and live meetings mean we can work efficiently but not be in the same city let alone office. However, building business requires trust and relationships, and that requires meeting people. I need to meet customers, predominantly outside of the City Region: in London, across the North and in Europe.
Liverpool does suffer from poor rail connections. We are the only major English city with just one train per hour throughout the day to London and we have precious few direct services to other UK cities. If Liverpool is to remain competitive, then we need excellent rail links to the UK’s major cities and also to Manchester Airport.
That’s why HS2 is such an important issue for small businesses like mine. If Liverpool were linked to HS2 then we would have faster, more frequent services to London and Birmingham. Any Liverpool link would almost certainly be the start of an HS3 network, linking us to Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and beyond; that’s a market of over 14 million customers and skilled employees. It could also provide a super-fast link to Manchester Airport, linking Liverpool to even more international destinations.
We all know that we can’t rely on roads. Congestion makes travel times excessive and unreliable and it’s a problem that is only going get worse. I find trains a more productive form of travel as I can catch up on work whilst on the move.
Getting a high-speed rail link would greatly boost our local prosperity, by around £400m a year. It would bring 26,000 additional jobs and 20,000 more residents; a massive boost to local businesses.
That’s why I’m in favor of Liverpool being directly linked to the high-speed rail network and back the call for 20 Miles More.