Liverpool offers to pay £2bn towards HS2 link

Mayor Joe Anderson said the city region could raise £2bn through a tax increment finance scheme, using National Insurance contributions from new jobs created as a result of the infrastructure investment, to cover two-thirds of the cost of a 20-mile link into the HS2 network.

Anderson has leant his support to Ticket to Ride: How high speed rail for Liverpool can realise the Northern Powerhouse, a report by ResPublica, a think tank.

The report’s authors say Liverpool and other Northern cities “will be left behind if HS2 doesn’t go beyond favoured cities and locations.”

In a statement accompanying the report, ResPublica said: “The cost of extending HS2 to Liverpool would be less than £3bn and for the first time in the UK up to two thirds of cost could be self-financed by the city region through the local retention of taxes.”

Anderson added: “The need for Liverpool to be connected to both the other cities of the north and London is huge if we as a city are going to play our part in generating money, jobs and continued growth through the Northern Powerhouse.

“Our funding plan would make up the bulk of the price with £2bn coming from keeping hold of locally raised taxes, rather than sending them to the Treasury. Using this mechanism would allow both ourselves and the wider economy to move closer to prosperity.”

ResPublica’s proposal would see a dedicated high speed rail line linking the Liverpool City Region into the HS2 route to the north of Crewe, and connecting it to Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly on high speed track. This link in turn will also be the westernmost branch of the planned east-west “HS3” or “TransNorth” route running from Liverpool to Hull and reconnecting the great cities of the north.

A tax increment financing scheme could allow the city region to fund up to two thirds of the cost of the Liverpool-Manchester link, with National Insurance contributions from any additional jobs that are generated over and above the city region’s structural jobs growth trend, together with the capitalisation of revenue from the Mersey Tunnels tolls.

Director of ResPublica, Phillip Blond, said: “High speed rail offers a real chance to make the Northern Powerhouse work but it has to connect the cities of the north with each other, as well as London. If we don’t extend the North South HS2 into an East West HS3 – the real benefits and gains from high speed rail will be lost.

“Both HS2 and HS3 could start in Liverpool and with the city able to find most of the funds there is no reason for the government to ignore this detailed and transformative proposal.

“Currently, rail lines in the Liverpool City Region are crowded and the government’s proposed limited link from Liverpool to HS2 running from Crewe on old classic lines, while cutting journey times, would not allow Liverpool to grow. This would severely constrain the Liverpool Superport project which needs extra East West rail capacity to take advantage of the potential trebling of freight into Liverpool as a result of recent investment.”

The report was endorsed by Angela Eagle, MP for Wallasey; Louise Ellman MP for Liverpool Riverside and chairman of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee; and Robert Hough, chairman of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

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Greater Manchester is already bursting at the seems in terms of population pressure/transport etc, and it’s right that some of this investment goes to unlocking the potential of other areas, so that the north west can succeed in a more rounded way…

By Local

Some people really need to get over the Beatles

By i leave comments on place north west

More to Liverpool than the Beatles the New York times ..Liverpool is the Northern powerhouse

By John

Hopefully this will encourage more Day Trippers

By syntax

Can we actually have a serious discussion about a serious suggestion please?

Do people feel it is a good idea to majority fund this infrastructure locally? Do they feel the proposal will gain traction with the HS2 and the government?

By Cloth Cap

Why would anyone want to go to Liverpool though?

By Realist

I think it is a bold and brave move, I support the idea, if Liverpool is offering to help fund 2/3rds
of the connection, surely the British Government, could not refuse to support a British City..or do they think of us as something else? The Governments reaction or lack of it will tell us a lot about our future relationship with the Government and the rest of the UK.

By Man on bicycle

Hey Troll…Millions do every year

By Man on bicycle

Liverpool’s pioneering spirit reborn! The world’s first passenger railway was promoted and financed largely from Liverpool. The city can do this again with HS2/3. The potential really is boundless. It will pay for itself quickly. It’s a wonderfully spacious city, built on a world scale with an illustrious history. And people are catching on to this.

By Gwydion

You have to question the intellectual rigour of those promoting this scheme. HS2 trains will connect Liverpool under the current proposals using classic compatible trains.

Liverpool is therefore already favoured by the government in that it will have a direct link to HS2 whereas other major cities such as Sheffield, Newcastle, Bristol and Cardiff will not.

Spending £2bn of local funding on a link that will add no value other than shavings only a couple of extra minutes from the journey time can be seen as nothing more than a vanity project and a colossal waste of money. What are they thinking?

By Aghast

It would make more sense to take HS2 along the existing west coast main line to Preston and then start HS3 at Preston also. Preston is probably a more logical growth point than Liverpool. The docks there could be rejuvenated and it is the headquarters for Booths already.

By Brian

You’re forgetting Liverpool 2 and the importance of this to the whole of the North. Direct high-speed links to Liverpool will free up space for the freight movements to boost the North’s exports through the post-panamax port. Anywhere else in the progressive western world there would be no argument about this. It’s a no brainer! Liverpool’s massive economic potential is obvious. Liverpool leaders are to be commended in showing such initiative and resourcefulness.

By Gwydion

Connectivity is the main argument here or lack of it, Liverpool will not have the direct link under current proposals, only till about crewe, the idea is take advantage of the HS2/HS3 intersection
under this scheme, if HS3 is as intended to link Liverpool to Hull and other places for the benefit of the North, or is it just for certain areas of the North..
When business people or investors look at a country and choices outside of the Capital, it is a case of Where and how easy is it to get to, I know this is my first thought when travelling overseas and setting up distribution and sales offices throughout the world, we only have so much time to spare, so the easiest looking option often comes into play.I have not even touched the vast amounts of increased Container traffic which will be produced soon by L2.

By Man on bicycle

Spending millions on 40yr old technology across the UK is the biggest waste of money! We used to be world leaders ad pioneers of railway! Think of something new and be more forward thinking! High Speed Rail tech will be 60 years old before we can even use it!

By pioneer

We need to catch up with high-speed first.. We’re a small densely populated island and the sums involved really aren’t that great.

By Gwydion

Realist – probably to escape from the kind of deluded and myopic ‘thinking’ that seems to sadly persist in certain quarters down the East Lancs

By Joney

High speed trains will serve Liverpool Lime Street directly. Liverpool WILL have a direct link to HS2 and it’ll be no easier to get to any other cities served by HS2. This is an expensive vanity project, no more, no less.

By Aghast

ResRepublica Think Tank:

ResRepublica are going to the Houses of Parliament tonight proposing that the first phase of the West (Liverpool) to East (Hull) Northern Powerhouse rail line (was called HS3) be a high-speed line from Liverpool to Manchester and this used as access by Liverpool and Manchester to HS2, so killing many birds with one stone. It all makes sense. This will give HMG a face saving way out in getting a direct HS2 link to Liverpool.

Liverpool to Manchester currently takes twice as many passengers as Manchester to Leeds. Of the two existing lines between Liverpool and Manchester only one is electrified and the other a slow packed diesel line. A high-speed line between the two cities will increase passenger numbers for sure. Great emphasis and a fortune is to be spent on a line between Manchester and Leeds when the passenger numbers are low compared to Liverpool-Manchester.

Northern Powerhouse state Liverpool needs a new line if only because of the port to release rail capacity for freight. They also emphasise the importance of the Port of Liverpool to the northern economy and its rail access. The new post-Panamax container terminal, Liverpool2, accommodating the world’s largest ships, is opening in a matter of weeks which will near double rail usage from the port. This new terminal will take containers directly to the North of England by-passing southern ports cutting transport costs and making companies more competitive. Also too many of the containers from the existing terminal are transported by polluting trucks clogging roads, which need to be transferred to less polluting rail ASAP. The new Liverpool eco biomass terminal imports pellets from North America for power stations converting from coal and all will also go via rail. Rail is vital for Liverpool and the surrounding north of England economies.

To exclude Liverpool from HS2 is economic madness. The over 2 million Liverpool City Region is the most in need of a HS2 link in the UK. Yet the mayor has to offer £2bn to put in place what central government should be funding and constructing. The city is spending £2bn to stand still not progress.

By John

Nothing wrong with St Helens thanks.

By Realist

At least Liverpool has offered to pay for it ….
The only people that don’t want Liverpool to get HS2, is the people that live up the road in Manchester ..they troll on every site its embarrassing

By Karen

Hey Troll, just finished your homework?

By Man on bicycle

Liverpool is one of the great cities of Europe.I cannot believe that it is not being linked and Sheffield is.I live in Manchester and I think some of the snide comments on here are truly pathetic.I am sure more people want to visit Liverpool than Leeds or Sheffield. They are hardly world cities.This parochial nonsense is why the North is a laughing stock.The line should take in all our great cities,including a continued line from Manchester to Glasgow and one from Leeds through Newcastle to Edinburgh. Liverpool should have a fast link from Crewe.

By Elephant

Incorrect Elephant. Liverpool was a great port thanks to the British Empire but then so was Glasgow and to a lesser extent Hull. The difference is that the government is already paying for a direct HS2 link to Liverpool (albeit “classic compatible”) whereas those great cities are getting nothing. Explain that one.

By Aghast

One of the great European cities? You’re having a laugh, London and Edinburgh are the only great European cities in the UK, which is why nobody comes up north. Leeds and Manchester are the economic drivers of the north which is why they are the most important, Leeds is very vibrant, much nicer and friendlier than the north west and has the better jobs and talent pool.

By Lionel

Parochialism is so refreshing.

By i leave comments on place north west

If nobody comes up North, why is Leeds vibrant, Liverpool and Manchester are vibrant and both enjoy large amounts of visitors cultural and sporting, nothing against Leeds but it is a bit invisible at times, I’ve done lots of business there and love the people, but it is a little behind the NW..
Don’t get too upset I am sure you’l catch up..

By Man on bicycle

Lets hope any proposed HS2 link to Liverpool would go one better than the M62 which starts at Junction 4, three miles outside the city centre, as J1, J2 and J3 were never built?

By Scouze Billy from Bootle

What utter tosh you talk Lionel.Liverpool and Manchester have always been regarded as two of the great cities of Europe.You need a history lesson.Cities are not about how pretty your castle is,or how many listed buildings you have,but your achievements. Liverpool was once the biggest contributor to the Treasury,with it’s own Ministry in Whitehall. Ask someone in America to name another British city,other than London and I doubt anyone will say Leeds or Sheffield,or Nottingham.I would bet a pound to a penny that most would say Liverpool.It is the only instantly recognisable city in England,at least,other than London.Manchester,Birmingham and Leeds in pictures,all look similar.Someone show a picture of Liverpool waterfront and there is no doubt which city it is.Leeds an international city.How deluded are you people.

By Elephant

I agree with Aghast,that Glasgow and Edinburgh should be linked,but Hull! Are you for real? Where do we draw the line? Should we link Morecame and maybe Cleckheaton? A better idea,would be to link Cardiff via Bristol from Paddington and then a fast link to Birmingham from Bristol.Then London and Bristol,would be linked to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

By Elephant

The conclusion that I’m sure you’re slowly coming to, Elephant, is that in respect of making a case to spend limited public money on extending HS2, Cleckheaton and Morecome, like Cardiff and Bristol fall on the wrong side of the value for money dividing line once the extra costs and benefits are factored in. Unlike those places, Liverpool does still get a direct link to HS2 with classic compatible HS2 trains even if, quite understandably, a £2bn, 18 mile long captive spur for dubious extra benefits cannot be justified on those terms.

If however, Liverpool wishes to provide the extra funding itself, then just like Sheffield, Cardiff, Bristol, Glasgow, Cleckheaton or Morecambe, it is perfectly entitled to do so.

By Aghast

Born in Australia. ..Leeds , Sheffield and even manchester ..sorry not world cities Liverpool is a world city get over it.

By Scott

I have to disagree with our Australian cousin on Manchester not being a ‘Great European’ city.Manchester has a political and economic history that outshines most Empires.If you think that a city which has won the Eighth Nobel prizes in the World,without the rest of Britain,has the oldest library in the English speaking world,inspired the Communist manifesto,was the first industrialised city on the globe,began the emancipation of women,Free Trade and Trade unions,is not a great city,you have no idea what the word ‘Great’ actually means.Manchester is the only city in Britain which can look Rome in the face,let alone London.

By Elephant

Elephant, you make your case well for Manchester, and for Liverpool. Just think where we would all be at if Liverpool / Manchester would support each other. The world-city profile for both cities would be uncontestable. Liverpool and Manchester are the great cities they are party because of their historic relationship with each other. They are already an interlinked megalopolis, but they will only reach their full potential when they stop trying to hold each other back, and from the comments we get on here there seem to be many in Manchester that would wish to hold Liverpool back. I do wonder why.

By Gwydion

Yeah inspiring communism is a great claim to fame. Was it not the miserable living and working conditions that did that?

By syntax

Of course Syntax, it was the miserable conditions,but it was also the sheer impact that Manchester’s development and the surrounding Hinterland had on Humankind,which created the huge reforms and political seismic shifts ,but it was Disraeli who compared Manchester’s explosion to the Greek Empire and as Gwydion pointed out it was part of the great South Lancashire Megalopolis which was the economic engine room of Britain,stretching from the Pennine industrial powerhouses of textiles and engineering to Liverpool through the coalfields of Wigan and St Helens, The Irwell Valley was the richest and most productive river valley the world has ever seen.The Silicon valley is playing at it.People confuse great with pretty when they describe cities.Watch the open ceremony of the Olympic games and the industrial revolution part. There is no doubt where in Britain that is.

By Elephant

“People confuse great with pretty when they describe cities”. I would say they don’t confuse it, they just value it. It is a prerequisite to a great city: it isn’t enough to just be economically productive for a few wealthy industrialists. A great world city must be attractive and liveable. Manchester never was, and still isn’t.

By syntax

Syntax you do have a valid point,but on your premise,Bath and York would be great cities.They are theme parks.The only large ,beautiful city in the UK is Edinburgh,but as Glaswegians say about that city,One street and a clock.

By Elephant

No they wouldn’t. I said attractiveness was a prerequisite, not the only criterion. Compared to other non-London UK cities, Manchester is economically strong, but is not attractive or an especially nice environment to be in, and therefore not a great world city.

By syntax