High speed rail ‘could bring 14,000 jobs to Liverpool’

A LIVERPOOL spur to the HS2 high speed rail line will add £500m a year to the city’s economy and support an extra 14,000 jobs.

That’s according to a report commissioned by the city’s local enterprise partnership and Merseytravel which is being presented to a meeting of the combined authority of Merseyside councils today.

The findings suggest a greater economic impact if HS2 can be used to increase freight movements from the region and estimate an annual increase in business rates equivalent to £29m per year with land values increasing by £179m.

The report also includes proposals to increase capacity in Liverpool city centre, convert disused freight lines for passenger uses, and improve connections between Liverpool and Cheshire North and South Wales via the Halton Curve. Other improvements will include, upgrading services between Ormskirk and Preston and enhancing links between Merseyrail’s Wirral Line and Chester to the Crewe HS2 hub.

The data will be used by the city to state its case for an HS2 spur to the Department for Transport.

Robert Hough, Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP said: “We are absolutely committed to our efforts to ensure that Liverpool City Centre, and the City Region as a whole, benefits fully from the development and investment in High Speed 2. Our Growth Plan submitted to Government stressed this importance and the economic case in this report can only help our case.  

“Investing in infrastructure, such as HS2 is the only way that we can achieve a rebalancing of our economy and it essential that we work collaboratively, across the North, to make sure that message is heard.”