The multibillion pound expansion of Britain’s High Speed Rail is a giant step to building a stronger economy for the North West, believes a Manchester MP.
Andrew Stunell, MP for Hazel Grove, believes that halving journey times to London is only one of the benefits, as the new lines connecting Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport will allow more freight to be carried on the existing line and taken off the over-crowded M6.
The new high-speed train line means that travel from Manchester to London will now only take an hour and will allow easy connections with regional rail services, as well as the Metrolink and bus services.
Mr Stunell said: “It’s another big step to a stronger economic future for the North West, and shows the Coalition Government is ready to invest for the long-term.”
He added: “With the ‘northern hub’ expansion of Piccadilly, more space for more frequent and longer commuter trains on the Hazel Grove and Marple lines are possible as well.
“It’s a win for local travellers as well as those going to and from London. And it can provide a boost for jobs across the region.
“The lesson from the rest of Europe is that a high speed line provides a lift for the whole economy.”
Overall rail travel numbers have been rising steeply in the last few years, and there are now more journeys each year than the 1920’s – with only half the track.
The West Coast Main Line has seen dramatic increases, and traffic on local lines has continued to grow each year – up 10% last year on the Marple lines and 9% on the Hazel Grove line.
Connections will also be provided at various points across the HS2 network onto existing rail lines; this will contribute to firmly connecting all the major UK cities together which will deliver huge benefits to many businesses up and down the country.
Picture courtesy of marcus_jb1973, with thanks.