Plans To Link HS2 With Northern Powerhouse Rail Scheme
6 June 2019, 18:46
Changes to the plans for HS2 could see the line connected with Northern Powerhouse Rail just days after one Tory MP told LBC the project should be reviewed.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari, Andrea Leadsom said she was "very concerned" about HS2 when it was 'first talked about' in 2009.
But the Conservative leadership hopeful said an 'urgent review' was necessary to establish whether the project should be scrapped.
New plans published by the Department for Transport could mean a potential new route between Manchester and Liverpool.
The plan would mean creating two junctions in Cheshire, linking the HS2 line with NPR, which is a proposed scheme to improve rail connections between some of the North's largest cities.
This would mean NPR trains could use the HS2 line into Manchester, and HS2 trains would be able to use the NPR line into Liverpool.
The plans are among 11 proposed "refinements" to the route for Phase 2b of HS2, which have been put to a 13-week public consultation.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the launch of the consultation "marks the first step towards fully integrating HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail".
He went on: "NPR is being developed in close co-ordination with HS2, and is intended to make use of HS2 lines where that makes sense.
"This consultation includes proposals for infrastructure that would one day allow NPR trains to use the HS2 route and vice versa."
The Confederation of British Industry's regional director Damian Waters said: "The new consultation, announced today in Parliament, is a massive opportunity for the North and one we must grasp with both hands.
"Linking up HS2 and the Northern Powerhouse will unlock a series of connections knitting together Manchester, Liverpool and London to a high-quality transport network fit for the 21st century."
Phase 1 of HS2 is due to run between London and Birmingham from 2026, while Phase 2b from Birmingham to Crewe is scheduled to launch in 2027.
HS2 trains will also serve destinations on conventional lines beyond the new high-speed network, including York, Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.