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Linking Liverpool with HS2 (part three)

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Making progress with Susan

The High Speed Rail Linking Liverpool campaign has announced “positive progress” has been made with transport minister Susan Kramer.

HSR Linking Liverpool economic benefits study

[“High Speed Rail campaigners make positive progress with Minister”, HSRLL website, Wednesday 15th October 2014]

[…] The High Speed Rail – Linking Liverpool campaigners formally presented her with the recently-published independent Economic Benefits Study, which spells out the boost to the City Region that would flow from High Speed Rail.

The Government Minister – who has overall responsibility for High Speed Rail – welcomed the presentation of the economic data and committed her officials and other Government departments to continue to work with the Liverpool campaigners.

Cllr Phil Davies, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “Baroness Kramer said she wanted to work with us to maximise the impact of HS2 for the benefit of the City Region. It was a very positive meeting, and everyone was very receptive and enthusiastic to sit down with us and talk in more detail.

“I’m hopeful the economic case will be taken on board in the Government’s planning.”

Under current plans, High Speed Rail is scheduled to bypass the City Region, but Cllr Davies added: “She listened to our case for all connectivity options to be fully developed and delivered – HS2 North/South and through One North for East/West connectivity.
[…]
Robert Hough, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “The Study demonstrates that there will be significant benefits not only to the City Region but to the overall UK economy by fully including Liverpool in HS2 and One North plans. We have been making this point for some time now and pressed the message home today.”

The Study highlights economic benefits – such as an overall £8.3bn boost to the City Region economy; 14,000 new jobs; 20,000 more people looking to make the Liverpool City Region their home and 723,000 additional visitors.

The document is dated July 2014, but it appears that only now has it been made public. Although it is a piece of advocacy (produced by Steer Davies Gleave for the City Region), it does not make a very good case for building a dedicated high line into Liverpool. Consider, for example, the GVA figures presented for building, and not building, captive track (presented below).

Extract from the SDG report

Extract from the SDG report

The hugely expensive HS2 dedicated tunnel into Manchester (which is part of the government’s preferred scheme), would only carry 3 London trains each hour. Its value for money looks just as questionable as the Liverpool captive spur.

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Written by beleben

October 16, 2014 at 10:55 am

One Response

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  1. The study took as given that the Crewe Hub was not committed, no other local rail improvements, Stafford’s service was to be via Liverpool trains and only two trains per hour could serve Liverpool. The net result was only one train per hour via the spur was modelled. Any spur requires at least 3 trains per hour to make it’s BCR viable. So this wasn’t exactly shocking news. However, why bother producing a report based on a flawed premise when the result is already known?
    It is highly likely that the Crewe Hub will go ahead. This would enable “splitting” services for Liverpool, so it could easily have 3 London services per hour. Additionally the spur would most likely be on an East-west axis, so could double-up as the start of a “HS3” route and potentially act as a bypass for all Liverpool long distance trains/ TP express services. This would free the “City Lines” for an extended Merseyrail-style metro service for the East of the city region, which is poorly served. These additional measures would be highly positive to the BCR. These where (partially) taken into account in the 20 Miles More consultation response in January 2014 – which shows a BCR of 2.71.

    Andrew Morris

    October 19, 2014 at 6:37 pm


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