Rachel Bailey

MIPIM | Crewe HS2 decision opens door to wider investment, says Bailey

Neil Tague in Cannes

Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council told Place North West that the Government’s confirmation last week of the requested full programme of works at Crewe train station will open the door for investment in towns such as Macclesfield.

On Friday, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said that HS2 phase 2a is to be modified, with the key point being the extension of Crewe’s platform 5  to 400m, allowing the splitting and joining of HS2 services, opening up the opportunity to serve Stoke-on-Trent and beyond with a high-speed service.

Grayling confirmed that the West Coast franchise operator West Coast Partnership would be asked to include a high speed service to Stoke-on-Trent in its market development and service plans.

Speaking to Place at an event to update attendees on the Constellation Partnership’s progress, Bailey said: “The market dictates when it comes to regeneration, and I’m confident that the approval of Crewe Hub will have a positive impact beyond Crewe itself. Crewe town centre is already getting private sector investment in readiness for HS2, and that can happen elsewhere.”

Peveril Securities and Cordwell Property Group are combining to deliver a £48m retail and leisure scheme in Crewe and are pressing forward with a view to completing by 2020, Bailey said.

She added: “The confirmation of the high-speed spur is hugely important, because it brings places like Macclesfield into play with shorter journeys and better connections through the HS2-compatible trains. For the employment offer in Macclesfield, particularly companies such as AstraZeneca, the benefits are obvious.”

The Crewe improvements also include a more efficient design for the proposed platform on the Manchester lines, incorporating a transfer deck to the main station, and a change to the design of the southern connection from HS2, so that HS2 joins, and takes over, the central two lines on the existing network.

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“splitting and joining of HS2 services” – that’ll slow them down by the time they’ve sorted couplings and brakes !!

By Tom H