The new high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham has been given the thumbs-up from the Government but is not scheduled for completion until 2026.
The link will be followed by a second phase to extend the line to Manchester and Leeds in 2032/2033. The complete cost of the two-phase project is estimated at £32bn. However, ACC Liverpool’s CEO called on the Government to bring forward the 2032/3033 proposal to the North West.
“Since opening in 2008, ACC Liverpool has generated £500m in economic benefit to the Liverpool City Region, but our transport network is a vital component to attracting new events to our venue and the feedback we continually receive is the perception of our distance from London,” Prattey said.
He pointed out competing venues in France, Germany and Spain all benefitted from high-speed rail link connectivity.
“Although travel time is now two hours eight minutes, perceptions will not change until this is less than two hours,” Prattey said. “We support the Government’s decision to give the go ahead to HS2 but would prefer not to wait two decades before it becomes a reality.”
Transport secretary Justine Greening is backing the 100-mile link and first phase of High Speed Two, which would cut the journey time from London to The NEC in Birmingham to 50 minutes.
The first phase of the scheme, which the Government believes will address overcrowding issues, will cost £17bn and be completed by 2026. The 225mph trains are expected to alleviate pressure on existing routes between London and the Midlands.
Legal action by opponents and environmentalists, who fear the schemes will come at a high cost to the countryside between London and Birmingham, is expected to delay the scheme. However Greening is working on measures aimed at mitigating the negative impact of the new line.
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