Northern rail threatened by vanity projects
‘New research commissioned by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority shows that the high-speed rail links could deliver a £15bn boost to the economy, as well as 20,000 jobs, 10,000 homes and an extra 2.9 million visitors a year’ (reported RTM Magazine on 31 October).
[Liverpool leaders call for £15bn boost from HS2 and HS3 links, RTM, 2016-10-31]
Councillor Liam Robinson, chair of the Merseytravel committee, added that Merseytravel’s aim was to secure “a brand new, twin-track, rail line between Liverpool and Manchester” with direct connections to HS2, and a new station at Liverpool Lime Street capable of receiving HS2 trains.
Cllr Robinson said this would reduce the journey time between Liverpool and Manchester by 50% and between Liverpool and London by 25%.
But where is this “new research” to be found? At the time of writing, it does not feature on what passes for the Combined Authority’s website. And there is no sign of an e-mail address for freedom of information requests.
Current fast trains between Manchester and Liverpool complete the journey in around 32 minutes, and the cost of a new line to cut that “by 50%” would be enormous.
Councillor Robinson’s “aim” looks like a vanity project in the same vein as the proposed Manchester to Leeds ‘HS3’. If progressed, these absurd schemes could destroy the chances of creating a coherent rail system in the north.