An independent campaign to get a high speed rail network running up to the North West has been launched and is calling for further support.
The 'Say yes to High Speed Rail' campaign has backing from chief executive and director general of Merseytravel, Neil Scales, and Clive Memmott, chief executive of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
In February last year, the Labour Government launched a consultation on its proposal to build a high speed rail network which aims to link Manchester to London with trains running at up to 250 miles an hour.
The Coalition Government since said it prefers a 'Y shaped' high speed rail route north of Birmingham with separate lines to Leeds and Manchester.
The Government said the twin route would allow the East Midlands and South Yorkshire to be served by the high speed rail network, as well as Leeds, Manchester and the North West.
The route was chosen against a 'reverse S' shaped route from Birmingham to Manchester and then across the Pennines to Leeds.
The Government's high speed advisory body HS2 also said the Y network would deliver a total of £25bn more benefits than the reverse S.
Proposals for a Y shaped high speed rail network would reduce journey times from London to Birmingham to 49 minutes, and from London to Manchester and Leeds to around 80 minutes.
A consultation on the Government's strategy for the high speed rail is still taking place. Subject to the outcome of this consultation and further detailed work by HS2, there would then be a detailed consultation on the line of route for Leeds and Manchester. The scheme is being targeted to open in 2026.
Anyone interested in supporting the independent campaign has until Wednesday 6 April to sign up.
For further details visit the Yes to High Speed Rail campaign website.