HS2 campainers rally for public support
CAMPAIGNERS for the £40bn+ High Speed 2 rail link are urging businesses and householders to rally behind their cause.
Despite the cost and the fact that the proposed link won’t reach the North West until the 2030s, the ‘yes’ campaign argue that the investment is needed as it will ease capacity constraints on the West Coast mainline and slash journey times to London to 80 minutes.
The Government has just launched a public consultation on the proposed route of HS2 Phase Two – which will see a Y-shaped link to Manchester in the West and Leeds in the East.
The Greater Manchester HS2 Communications Leadership Group, made up of council, education and business leaders, describe the project as essential for the future prosperity of the region.
Professor John Brooks, vice-chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University and chair of the group said: “”The promise of HS2 goes beyond simply improving connections to major cities across the country; it is the key to unlocking the enormous potential our region has to offer, making it an attractive place to do business, live and visit.
“I would urge Greater Manchester to show its support for High Speed Rail, to tell the rest of the country that we are ready to seize the opportunity to get the right infrastructure in place for the next generation of traveller.”
Coinciding with consultation launch, thousands of ‘tickets to the future’ were distributed across Manchester’s busiest stations, outlining the benefits of HS2.
Susan Williams, from the North West Rail Campaign added: “The current railway is already creaking and with the extra demand we know is coming, links to London to for the North West will be clogged up in little over 10 years.
“The risk is that if we do nothing services from the North West will lose out as competition for timetable slots increases. If we want to secure extra capacity for our rail services then we must embrace the proposed high speed network as the only real alternative.”
The Greater Manchester HS2 Communications Leadership Group also includes: Sir Howard Bernstein and Sir Richard Leese of Manchester City Council; Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airport Group; Clive Memmott chief executive of Great Manchester Chamber; Cllr Matthew Colledge, leader of Trafford Council; Mike Blackburn, regional director of BT and chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership and Jon Lamonte of Transport for Greater Manchester.