David Higgins, Chairman of HS2 Ltd announced:
“I propose the Government should accelerate Phase Two as soon as possible to take the line 43 miles further north than planned in Phase One, to a new transport hub at Crewe which could be completed by 2027, six years earlier than planned.
It is the right strategic answer, and not just for the area around Crewe: it would also deliver the benefits of HS2 – in terms of better services to the North – much sooner.”
He went on:
“…benefits [of HS2] could be spread further north sooner if Phase Two were accelerated and the line were extended to a new regional transport hub at Crewe by 2027, six years earlier than planned.
This would bring together road and rail services for the region as a whole, allowing faster services sooner to Manchester, the rest of the North West and to Scotland.
Although final decisions must await the outcome of the recent consultation, I believe it is the right strategic answer for the long term and, by combining road and rail services in one interchange, it would also act as a real agent of change in that region.
It would be for the Government and Parliament to decide how that might be achieved in terms of legislation, but I do not believe this needs to be a lengthy process.”
Edward Timpson, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, said:
“I have been working very hard in Westminster to make the case for an HS2 hub station at Crewe, and to speed up the project. Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of state for Transport, is sick of hearing from me about it!
So to be told that HS2 Limited have now listened and changed their view is simply fantastic. To be told that we could be getting the station six years earlier than planned is even better!
HS2 will open up South Cheshire to international business, by providing the extra rail capacity and speed from London that we so badly need. This can only mean more jobs for local people.
We also have the rail skills and service industries here to make HS2 a continued success, both during construction and beyond.
From the passenger’s point of view, it will provide comfortable, fast travel to London, freeing up space on the currently overcrowded West Coast Main Line for commuters. Everyone wins.
But, perhaps most of all, it cements Crewe’s position as the gateway to the North West, not only in terms of geography, but also in terms of transport connections. The old saying ‘change at Crewe’ has never been more apt.”
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