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Linking Liverpool with HS2, part two

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Liverpool City Region combined authority (LCRca) has published its six-page submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs high speed rail inquiry. LCRca favours a direct (i.e. captive) HS2 connection, but its submission does not provide any evidence on the costs and benefits of such provision. Indeed, most of its content could be described as ‘chaff’ and / or Manchester-envy.

To give a couple of examples:

1. The submission notes that “Liverpool has direct train services to only 7 of the 11 other largest cities in Britain”. However, HS2 would have no effect on the number of cities directly linked to Liverpool. Even with a 100% captive line, HS2 would only provide Liverpool with direct service to two cities — Birmingham and London.

2. LCRca claim that most parts of the City Region “benefit from a relatively high level of rail connectivity” but “with average speeds on many routes below 25 mph [40 km/h] and even less than 20 mph [32 km/h] on some, journey times are relatively uncompetitive with other modes”. Are Merseyside local rail journey times really “uncompetitive with other modes”? Whether or not that is true, HS2 could not be a means of fixing such problems. Because it would have no effect on train speeds on the classic railways in the Liverpool area.

The LCRca proposition appears to involve building new captive [GC gauge] track via Runcorn, and reconstructing Lime Street station. So, how disruptive would that be? The cost must surely be around the £4 billion mark.

HS2 Linking Liverpool proposition, map

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Written by beleben

September 16, 2014 at 10:32 am

Posted in High speed rail, Liverpool, Politics

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  1. Some comments on your points:

    1. A new high speed route on an East-West access could also be the start of HS3. So it could potentially be used for services to Manchester , Leeds, Sheffield etc. It could also be used for long distance services to access Lime Street, as the current approaches are very slow. So Services to Scotland, Birmingham, London etc. Additionally, but taking London and Birmingham services off the congested Lime Street – Edge Hill cutting capacity will be released for additional long distance services.

    2. I’ve no idea why the comment on local rial speeds are included in a submission on HS2. It is rather a non sequitur.

    No route is proposed, that’s something for HS2 Limited to propose. However, it is highly unlikely that a new route would be via Runcorn. As to the cost of £4bn – I think this is just scaremongering and weakens your argument.

    Andrew Morris

    September 17, 2014 at 6:33 pm


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