Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) today welcomed the Government’s announcement confirming that HS2, including Birmingham to Crewe will go ahead. The LEP also restated that connecting to Manchester and Northern Powerhouse Rail is critical to maximising the full benefits for the North West and beyond.
Crewe, uniquely, delivers 360-degree rail connectivity and is a critical interchange for HS2. When combined with the extension to Manchester and Northern Powerhouse Rail, via a Crewe Northern junction, the potential to revolutionise travel and crucially open-up access to national and international labour and business markets will unlock significant growth.
Christine Gaskell CBE DL, Chair of the LEP said: “We welcome the announcement today by the Prime Minister that the UK Government is committed to delivering HS2 in full, and we are pleased that Government recognises the important role that Crewe plays in maximising the benefits of HS2.
Our evidence shows that an integrated high-speed rail service for the North, that includes Northern Powerhouse Rail, is vital in rebalancing the UK economy. Such investment will enable the creation of up to 120,000 new jobs and the construction of up to 127,000 new homes, as a key component of the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan.
“Our local economy is the highest performing in the Northern Powerhouse so the Government’s confirmation that the UK will see this investment in vital infrastructure is a major milestone. Our location offers a unique opportunity to act as the catalyst for a Growth Corridor for the wider north whilst ensuring the key role that the Cheshire Science Corridor can play, and accelerating Crewe’s position as a strategically important international business location, just 10 minutes from Manchester Airport.
“It’s imperative we now work quickly with Government and partners to complete the review in to the Manchester line to ensure we can realise the full benefits of a high-speed network of rail services that ease travel north-south and east-west.”