Liverpool pushes for HS2 link

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to convince the Government to extend the proposed high speed rail link to Liverpool.

The 20 Miles More lobby wants a spur to the city from the mainline that will run to the east of Warrington to a depot at Wigan.

It claims the line would add £1.5bn to the £42bn overall cost of HS2 and would provide a return of £2.70 for every £1 invested, compared to the projected £1.80 across the currently proposed network.

It said it would boost the Liverpool region’s gross value added (GVA) – which measures the value of goods and services produced in an area – by £400m a year.

The campaign also argues that the new Liverpool 2 superport will only reach its full potential if there is a corresponding increase in rail freight capacity by transferring passenger services off the West Coast Main Line onto HS2.

Campaign director Andrew Morris said: “An HS2 link to Liverpool will ensure that the economic growth that is very much in evidence in the city will not be jeopardised. It will also greatly assist the Port of Liverpool which is undergoing a massive expansion to handle the latest generation of carriers by freeing up freight capacity on the West Coast Main Line.”

The campaign is being launched at the Liver Building today and a number of business leaders and policy experts have  given their support by writing an open letter the Government. Signatories include: Lord Derby, urbanist Professor Sir Peter Hall, Tom Morris, founder of the Home Bargain chain of stores; Tom Cannon, Professor of strategic development at the University of Liverpool Management School; Guy Wallis, founder of the law firm DWF; Professor Ian Wray, trustee of the Town & Country Planning Association; Mersey Maritime chief executive Jim Teasdale and director of the Respublica think tank, Phillip Blond.