Airport included as HS2 route confirmed

Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, has today confirmed the preferred route for the North West stretch of HS2, the high-speed rail network he said “will become the backbone of our national rail network” as the government reaffirmed its commitment to the project.

The western section of the Y-shaped improvement programme will see trains stop at Crewe and Manchester Airport on their way to a new station adjacent to Manchester Piccadilly, as proposed alternatives such as the “Stoke Connector” plan were dismissed.

HS2 services will also be run on the old network in connecting services to Liverpool and the existing West Coast mainline, allowing HS2 services to continue north to Scotland.

The government last year confirmed that the section between the West Midlands and Crewe will be accelerated so it is operational from 2027. Completion on the full network is still scheduled for 2033.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority estimates that reducing travel times and increasing connectivity will bring up to 180,000 new jobs to the region by 2040 and add £1.3bn to Manchester’s GVA.

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: “Today’s announcement is welcome confirmation that Greater Manchester will play a key role in HS2 and become a hub for rail improvements that will help support a sound economic future for the whole of the North through Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“This reinforces the confidence in the region’s economic potential. These infrastructure improvements are the tools we need to unlock our talent strategy.”

Some refinements to the plans have already been proposed: the moving of the rolling stock depot from Golborne near Wigan to a site just north of Crewe; the alignment of the approach to Manchester Piccadilly so that it runs to the east of West Gorton; and the moving of the route in the Middlewich/Northwich area in Cheshire. Decisions will be made in 2017 on these proposals.

It has also been confirmed that the proposed Crewe Hub station – a project additional to the core HS2 scheme and beyond its budget – should be located at the existing station, rather than at the alternative Basford Hall site.

In its affirmed next steps for the programme, government said that a hybrid bill for the development of phase 2a – the Midlands to Crewe leg – should be deposited by the end of next year.

While development of the Manchester Airport station remains subject to agreeing a local funding contribution, the government said that it continues to work with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Manchester Airports Group and others towards achieving this.

It had already been confirmed that each Manchester station and Crewe would receive £625,000 in HS2 Growth Strategy funding, and today’s announcement confirmed that a further £625,000 would be made available for each location.

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All good stuff now all we need is for TfN and NPR to sort out HS3 and connect Liverpool with the HS2 line, truly uniting the North and providing capacity for the greatly increased amounts of freight to and from Liverpool and providing parity with our fellow Northern cities in making this project a success…we hope?

By Man on bicycle

Does anyone think this part of HS2 will actually happen? Genuine question, given rumours coming out of DfT and Treasury.

By MancLad

What rumours?

HS2 to Manchester will happen. Doubtful Liverpool will ever see ‘true’ High Speed services, sadly.

By Zebith

who will be able to afford to ride these trains?
I know I won’t be able to afford it for a long time, I can’t afford the current trains.

By .

This picture of the station was the proposed revamp of manchester picadilly station. It was open and a massive improvement on the claustophobic design now. Unfortunately the curved building that needed demolishing is being refurbished!

Hope they see sense one day and recognise first impressions count!

By luke

Probably business travellers, freeing up space on ‘classic’ services.

The current Piccadilly Station design is pretty good. It has an airport feel to it.

Gateway House has massive potential if it gets a good refurb.

By Zebith

It’s about time other towns got a piece of the pie indirectly! northwich and knutsford have been waiting for the Crewe to sandbach to northwich to altincham link to open for years and the northwich and knutsford link to Manchester airport and onwards into Manchester is required sooner than later! the present services are just not exceptable electrification of the mid Cheshire line into Manchester via Stockport or a new link to Manchester airport must be a priority!

By true north

Disagree Zebith.

The interior is nice enough but the first impressions of Manchester isn’t great coming out.

Demolish gateway house as proposed and open it up I say!

Unfortunately Manchester is allergic to public space…

By luke

Liverpool will get HS2 for the if so called Northern powerhouse wants to work?

By LiverpoolCapital

And there was me trying to be positive about Manchester for a change.

Its not an attractive-looking city centre, so the current first impressions probably set an appropriate tone.

By Zebith

Another point to consider and I hope they who decide these things do, is after Brexit, we are hoping to increase trade with America, a great deal of that trade does and will come through the
Port of LIverpool, but so far as I can see no provision has been made or allowed for the greatly increased volumes of freight. So it’s not just a local problem but one of national importance if what the Brexiters say is true and America will be our best trading buddy..they wouldn’t mislead us would they? It will be interesting to see if HS2 have their priorties right?

By Man on bicycle

HS2 Ltd never bothered to inquire if Liverpool’s rail demands would increase when designing HS2, not knowing about the proposed new privately funded Superport, so left Liverpool off HS2.

The Superport takes the Triple-E container ships of 20,000 containers, the world’s largest, serving all the North, reducing the cost of goods transportation for all. It takes some shifting of 20,000 containers, only rail can do that. The containers cannot get out the port fast enough. Few Tripe-Es will berth until the rail is uprated, so container transport costs for the North will remain high many containers will come from southern ports. So Liverpool will have a Superport with small ships in it.

On announcement of HS2, the Port of Liverpool immediately complained that they need a HS2 line to Liverpool to alleviate the existing rail for freight. TfN have agreed and want a new high-speed HS3 line to Liverpool. The port is within one hour of 60% of the UKs population.

So HMG in their wisdom eliminate the only deep water port on that coast of a vital HS2 link. This will discourage private money investment in the North as the investors cannot maximise their investment. This is what we see in 3rd world countries.

By John Burns

The omission of a dedicated line to Liverpool throughout the entire thinking of HS2 speaks volumes about Whitehall and the UK’s slowly deepening introspection. Despite the rhetoric, HS2 will fail to directly connect to not only one of the country’s major core cities but the North’s major seaport. Powerhouse? Poorerhouse.

Worse however, is that it has been compounded by a most shameful and deafening silence from our MPs across the entire LCR who appear to have let themselves be subjugated by Party politics rather than fighting for investment in their city. One of which even happens to be Chair of the Transport Committee! The platitudes this week in various press statements were lamentable and of course fool no-one.

As it stands, the city that financed and created inter-city rail travel is simply being demoted to a branch line off Piccadilly. So come on Liverpool, if HS2 is going to happen.. then start banging that table and ensure we get that dedicated hi-speed line and new station in phase 2.

By LEighteen


They should build a brand new HS2 station in the Lime Street area!

By Kayla Bibby

Is that correct that there is no HS2 link planned for Liverpool whatsoever? Not even 5, 10 or 20 years after the Manchester HS2 stations? That is incredible.

Liverpool’s catchment area (and I know that is a loose term) is massive. It acts as a hub (again, a loose term, please forgive) for Merseyside (obviously), north Wales, west Lancs, possibly some parts of south west Preston, the Isle of Man. That’s a diverse population of over 2.5 million. That’s not an insignificant population that the Liverpool city zone services.

A HS2 link to Liverpool is absolutely essential. Anyone with any passion for the north west should make this their fight for the next 20 years. What a powerhouse we could have.

By Mizzer

Is there sufficient rail demand for a dedicated HS link to Liverpool? Ego bruising aside, HS trains will still run direct to Liverpool but will do so on existing rather than a dedicated line which will spur off the route from Birmingham to Manchester. Liverpool and the North you should focus on direct HS between Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds which will be of far more benefit to those cities individually and the North as a whole rather than faster connections to London.

By Loganberry

Hi Loganberry,
The whole point is that we in the LCR, believe that because we as a major city will not have the same direct connections as our sister cities in the North, that our econmmy will suffer. This is not even taking into consideration the extra levels of freight that will use the WCL.
So,yes we need it to be in a sporting chance of success as a vibrant LCR of between 2-3 million people.I can imagine the tears and tantums if other “Major Cities” had been denied direct access to HS2.I work overseas a great deal, we normally land in the Capital City and then venture out to other cities with quick easy access, Liverpool will suffer because of similiar companies visiting the UK, that’s why we are sticking up for our City. To answer your point about do we need it, may I suggest you see the queues at Euston for the Liverpool train and also the great numbers of Liverpool bound travellers who change at Crewe for Liverpool because of the inadequate service we have now, I hope this explains it a little.Cheers

By Man on bicycle

In response to Loganberry, by 2043 there will be double the number of passengers entering Liverpool in the morning peak: Network Rail’s own figures!

By LEighteen

But Liverpool will have an HS2 connection, it will have a direct HS trains to London, HS trains will pull into the station, you will not have to go via Manchester, the trains will join the HS line just above Crewe. What is the case for building HS all the way into Liverpool to save maybe 10-15 mins journey time? Big song and dance about nothing if you ask me, again – the greater benefit for both Manchester and Liverpool would be a HS link between the 2 cities. Stop getting so het up about this and focus on something that would actually derive a benefit.

By Loganberry

The fact that Cities and towns who will be getting a Direct connection to HS2 are already feeling the benefit of investment and relocation”North West News Tonight” this week, shows why we are getting so” het” up about it, Lets see if the shoe was on the other foot and Manchester wasn’t getting not one, but two stations. The tears would be flowing enough to flood the Bridgewater canal, why should we suffer because HS2, neglected to include us in the first place and believe you me I’ve been to several meetings with them and they still can’t conceive the idea of the increased trade and passengers for Liverpool. We are standing up for our City, don’t tell us what we want or need, we know already thank you very much!

By Man on bicycle

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