London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is adding its voice to call for the best form of HS2 with a new underground through station at Manchester Piccadilly.
At a meeting between LCCI Chief Executive Richard Burge and Manchester City Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig, Manchester also reiterated the importance of ensuring that HS2 goes all the way to Euston and does not stop short at Old Oak Common.
Boosting capacity between the capital and the North of England and maximizing the long-term benefits of HS2 by ensuring the scheme is truly future-proofed, are critical for future growth. The new Manchester Piccadilly HS2 station – which will also incorporate Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) links – will be key to unlocking seamless east-west journeys, further boosting the UK’s economy and productivity.
However, current HS2 proposals for an overground HS2-NPR station at Manchester Piccadilly limit the scope for growth, have little in-built resilience and undermine connectivity benefits. Modelling suggests that as soon as both HS2 and NPR services are running it will be close to maximum capacity.
Suggestions that to cut costs the route might terminate at Old Oak Common rather than Euston – requiring passengers to travel half an hour along the Elizabeth Line to connect between HS2 and central London – would also significantly dilute the opportunities created.
Richard Burge, Chief Executive Officer at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, “HS2 is meant to be Europe’s largest infrastructure project that will narrow the economic disparities across the UK. An underground HS2 station at Manchester Piccadilly is just what Britain needs to level up economic and financial opportunities.
“Delivering Britain’s cutting-edge and a modern rail line like HS2 requires joint effort and cooperation. Which is why, we are ready to work with the Manchester City Council to provide a rail network that will enhance trade links between London and Manchester. This will allow business professionals and tourists to get in and out of London to Northern regional centres, as quickly and efficiently as possible and strengthen the thriving business community of Manchester and the North.”
Manchester City Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig said, “This is a once in a generation national infrastructure project which will be critical to our future growth and prosperity. We have to make sure from the outset that we get it right to deliver the maximum benefits – as the decisions taken now will dictate the face of our city for decades to come.
“We welcome the support of LCCI as we continue to press the case for an underground HS2-NPR station at Manchester Piccadilly and share their determination to ensure that the optimum version of HS2, going all the way to Euston, is delivered.
“When it comes to connectivity and productivity what’s good for Manchester and the wider North of England is good for London and vica versa. Getting HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail right will improve the country as a whole.”
Greater Manchester will be making the case for the underground station at Piccadilly to the High Speed Rail (Crewe-Manchester) Bill Select Committee in June.