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Inglorious Basford

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Crewe station relocation revival (backed by Cheshire East council), Feb 2014

The January 2013 Consultation Route proposal for HS2 phase two did not include a hub station at Crewe. In another HS2 Ltd volte face, David Higgins’ March 2014 ‘HS2 Plus‘ report recommended that a new HS2 “regional transport hub” should be built there, to “bring together road and rail services for the region as a whole” (in this case, ‘there’ means ‘in the vicinity of Crewe’, rather than ‘in Crewe’).

Crewel Mr Burns

HS2 Plus also recommended that the West Midlands — Crewe section of HS2 phase two should be brought forward to 2027. It seems unlikely that the plans put forward in HS2 Plus were originated by David Higgins. Crewe HS2 advance phasing was discussed in a document prepared by Steer Davies Gleave in January 2014.

HS2 Crewe advance phasing, SDG, Jan 2014

Cheshire East council performed its own volte face, and no longer supports Farrells’ July 2012 vision of a hub on the existing station site. In the February 2014 “‘High Growth Region‘ evidence base for Crewe Superhub” pamphlet produced for Cheshire East by, er, Farrells, SQW, and SDG, the preference is for a hub station to be built south of the town centre, near Basford.

Crewe station constraints, SDG, Jan 2014

SDG deprecated the capability and accessibility of the existing Crewe station, and its site. Relocating Crewe station to the south of the town would put it within “1 hour’s drive for 4.9 million people”, it asserted.

Crewe station, relocation benefits, Jan 2014

Most of those 4.9 million people would no doubt prefer to catch a train from a station that isn’t “up to one hour’s drive away” from where they live — such as Stockport, or Stoke-on-Trent.

[“Cheshire East ‘High Growth Region‘ : the evidence base for Crewe Superhub”, SDG / SQW / Farrells for Cheshire East council, 7 February 2014]

This evidence-based report provides a compelling vision for Crewe, the wider sub-region and for HS2. It has been
prepared by Sir Terry Farrell and his team, who have unique experience of high speed rail in Asia, and who have also similarly advised on the HS2 Old Oak Common Interchange, together with a team of expert consultants.

The vision clearly proves how an HS2 Superhub at Crewe would act as a major catalyst for local, sub regional and regional regeneration and economic growth, by maximising the advantage of Crewe’s unrivalled connectivity. This proposal is supported by the Cheshire & Warrington LEP, and also by the Cheshire & Warrington Local Transport Body.

Our key messages are:

• We are an already successful economy – an excellent base for growth

• Delivers on Government’s transport and economic policies, including a potential boost to the UK economy of £3bn.

• Adds very significant GVA, jobs and transport benefits to the case for HS2 and provides the opportunity for simpler and cheaper HS2 rail infrastructure in and around Crewe

• Crewe’s unique transport benefits:

– Provides 360 degree rail connectivity for the HS2 network – Crewe is the hub point for the North West’s rail network

– Provides a station accessible to potential 4.9 million passengers by all modes of transport

– Positive business and transport case for a new station at Crewe established by Network Rail, enabling a HS2 superhub

The growth story:

At Crewe and across the region, a new Network Rail station by 2020, and HS2 connectivity by 2026 could deliver a boost to the region and UK economy of up to £3bn GVA and between 40,000 to 60,000 jobs.

Crewe new station 2020, superhub 2026 (Farrells)

According to Network Rail (which tried to force through relocation of Crewe station a few years ago) the relocated hub would have a ‘high benefit cost ratio’. But, surprise surprise, Network Rail, Farrells, and Cheshire East have not produced any numerics on benefit-cost.

Crewe hub, Feb 2014 proposal

Written by beleben

March 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

3 Responses

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  1. In his Foreward Higgins wrote
    “English Partnerships taught me something else: that without proper transport infrastructure, any attempt to bring jobs and housing to an area will not work. It is the essential enabler for real and lasting regeneration. People have to be able to get to and from their work, and to and from their home. It is a statement of the obvious, but too often forgotten.”

    So to him its “obvious” that HS2 is part of the solution to “getting people to and from their work and to and from their home”. Err. I don’t think so. Of course outside London most people travel by car because it is the only, or most convenient, option.


    March 20, 2014 at 8:18 pm

  2. […] one might have expected Volterra to have come up with. And the proposals for a Crewe hub seem to be traceable to consultants engaged by Cheshire East […]

  3. […] East engaged Jim Steer’s Steer Davies Gleave company to make a case for a HS2 ‘hub’ at Crewe. However, in August 2014 Mr Steer in effect argued that the […]

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