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Etruria versus Basford

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Lobbying for the HS2 Stoke Route in London, 15 October 2014

Lobbying for the HS2 Stoke Route in London, 15 October 2014

Businesspeople and politicians from Stoke on Trent have launched their ‘last-ditch effort‘ to convince the government of the merits of their HS2 Stoke Route bid, the Stoke Sentinel reported (15 Oct 2014). So far, Stoke-on-Trent council has spent £560,000 on promoting the Stoke Route (and disparaging the Crewe Route favoured by Pete ‘The Hitman’ Waterman).

[“HS2: Politicians and business leaders head to London to make case for Stoke-on-Trent station”, The Sentinel, October 15, 2014]

[…] Prime Minister David Cameron and HS2 Ltd chairman Sir David Higgins have been among those who have publicly backed the Crewe scheme.
[Stoke Route director Dr Alan] James, an expert in economic development with a specialism in railways, says the proposal to go through Crewe was formulated at a time when HS2 was simply about speed. But now economic impact is the most important factor for the Government.
“The capacity issue is that the bottom end of the West Coast Mainline is effectively full, especially south of Birmingham. You just can’t get any more trains on it. And the economic issue is that HS2 is about strategic economic growth. It’s about how we engender economic growth in the North.

“It’s plainly apparent that there is only one city between Birmingham and Manchester and that’s us. Greater Stoke, which is Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle and part of the Staffordshire Moorlands – there are 470,000 people living in that area. So if you look at the HS2 consultation route, you can see one obvious geographic error – they’ve missed the city that’s twice the size of Milton Keynes.

“This is because the consultation route was actually following an engineering agenda, not an economic agenda.”

The Stoke Route would see a station built on brownfield land in Etruria Valley, while the Crewe scheme being proposed by Cheshire East Council would see the existing station demolished and replaced with a ‘parkway’ facility at Basford, to the south of the town centre.
The city council has developed the Stoke Route business case by employing world class – but expensive – experts, such as economic consultants Volterra, whom Dr James described as the ‘best brains’ in their fields.

HS2 'Stoke Route Ultimate' route to Manchester

Frames from Stoke on Trent council's October 2014 HS2 video

Frames from Stoke on Trent council’s October 2014 HS2 video


Written by beleben

October 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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