Avanti West Coast Pendolino Passenger Train at Crewe Railway Station

HS2 alternative proposed by Mayors

Andy Burnham and Andy Street are currently supporting work towards establishing a new, cheaper alternative to cancelled phase of HS2, with preliminary research outlining how a new railway line can improve connections.

After HS2 was cancelled between Birmingham and Manchester, the Mayors of Greater Manchester and the West Midlands came together to propose how three separate options can bring the benefits of the cancelled high-speed project. After identifying these three options, a group of private sector organisations have looked into the benefits of each, with the best value more likely to be derived from a new railway line between Staffordshire and Manchester Airport.

Mayors HS2 alternative quote

Speaking at a meeting of the Transport for the North board yesterday, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said:

“A new line is the best solution between Handsacre and High Legh, bear in mind this will become a missing piece of the railway jigsaw if nothing changes.

“It’s all overground so I don’t think any of it has to be tunnelled so it’s not the most expensive line in the country.

“Andy Street and I are not arguing for HS2 here, just to be clear. This has got to be a son or daughter of HS2, it’s not the same thing. I just want to make clear today that any new line should go via Crewe…”

The importance of the new line potentially going to High Legh, is that that is where a new route between Liverpool and Manchester will be delivered, bringing together crucial transport links for the north west.

As the two mayors work on putting together the proposals for the project, the government has agreed to consider them, however some of the land that may be required for it to succeed is already being sold back by the government, as it is no longer needed for HS2. Relating to this land, Transport for the North also used its meeting yesterday to call for the government to put protections on that space until local leaders agree to its sale.


Image credit: iStock


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