Liverpool in London event targets rail investment

Peel Group, Merseytravel and Network Rail are sponsoring an event in London later this month to promote "the business case for infrastructure improvements including High Speed 2 and the Northern Hub".

The half-day event on 22 June will take place at the Liverpool in London 'embassy' on Old Broad Street and has been organised by Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.

Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, and chairman of the cross-party transport select committee, will address the event. The chamber said it aims to showcase "Liverpool's new confidence, its vibrant economy and its readiness to seize the economic opportunities associated with key developments such as the Mersey Waters, SuperPort and offshore wind programmes."

Other speakers include Alan Stillwell, director of Integrated Transport at Merseytravel, Peter Nears, strategic planning director at Peel Group and Graham Botham, programme sponsor for the Northern Hub at Network Rail.

High Speed 2 is the proposed Y-shaped national high speed rail network linking London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. It would cost £32bn to build and is estimated to generate benefits of £44bn and revenues totalling £27bn.

Network Rail's Northern Hub is a plan to improve infrastructure to expand capacity by a further 3.5m passengers a year, with a 40% increase in daily services across the region, equivalent to 700 extra services. Political and planning consent is still required.

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Both HS2 and the ‘Northern Hub’ formerly known as the ‘Manchester hub’ marginalise Liverpool. Local politicians and business leaders should be campaigning for HS2 to include Liverpool and for the reopening of the Halton curve.

By William Gladstone

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