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Jones crusher

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Cheshire East council's then-leader Michael Jones with The Waterman in 2014

In November 2015, at the close of the epic battle of Cheshire versus Staffordshire for the ‘prize’ of the north Midlands HS2 ‘hub’, the Waterman vanquished the Maglevman, and Cheshire East council did rejoice.

[Cheshire East council, November 30, 2015]

Cheshire East Council has hailed today’s historic announcement that the Government is committed to building HS2 high-speed rail via Crewe and will invest £5bn to help bring the project online six years early.

Chancellor George Osborne, MP for Tatton, made the landmark statement confirming the finalised route the HS2 project will take. It also confirmed that the northern section to Crewe would be completed by 2027 rather than 2033.

Cheshire East Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones hailed the announcement as a ‘game-changer’ that makes it certain that Crewe will get a HS2 hub station – helping create more than 120,000 jobs by 2040 and injecting £10bn a year into the wider region’s economy.

But how much of a prize was it, really? What does the ‘Crewe HS2 hub’ actually amount to? How much ‘game changing’ might come of it? And which cities could be reached directly by HS2 from the ‘Crewe hub’?

According to the government’s updated economic case for phase 2, the ‘HS2 hub’ looks likely to be not much more than some revamp of the existing station. It would be unable to accommodate captive high speed trains, and if the ‘service pattern for modelling purposes’ is anything to go by, just two HS2 trains would call each hour, in each direction.

The cities directly served would be

1. London
2. Liverpool
3. Preston (yes, Preston is officially a city)
4. Er, that’s it.

So, HS2 ‘hub’, or ‘just a nub’?

Network Rail diagram claiming that a Basford hub station is feasible

Network Rail diagram claiming that a Basford hub station is feasible

Written by beleben

November 18, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Posted in Politics

One Response

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  1. Yup. Quite true. Unless Manchester trains stop at Crewe (which has effectively been rendered impossible by the proposed infrastructure) the “Crewe Hub” will consist of little more than a twice-hourly access to the Liverpool-London & Preston-London services. At this point we need to remember that Liverpool-London already has the highest loading of any WCML service and that HS2 is not proposing ANY additional peak-time capacity for the city; indeed by 2032 Liverpool will be the only core city with fewer than three trains-per-hour to London. Meanwhile Manchester will be sending half-empty trains a mere (but totally inaccessible) fifty feet away beneath Crewe’s platforms. Absolute madness!


    November 23, 2016 at 8:43 pm

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