Manchester Central has welcomed a report that outlines plans to accelerate phase two of the HS2 high speed rail project. HS2 Chairman Sir David Higgins has said, in a new report, HS2 Plus, that building work on the northern section of the £50bn project should be accelerated.
The report reveals a vision to bring forward the North of England element of the scheme several years earlier than planned. Sir David said the initial part of the project should run from London to Crewe by 2027, instead of merely reaching Birmingham by 2026. He added that building a new hub at Crewe was “the right strategic answer” and could mean completing the second phase of HS2 by 2030 instead of 2033.
Angie Robinson, Chief Executive of Manchester Central, welcomed the report findings. “The HS2 project is quite simply vital for the future prosperity of Manchester. HS2 will make our venue even better connected with London and other major international cities beyond,” she said.
“A better connected Britain means a better connected events industry. There will be new opportunities to grasp as the North of England becomes even more accessible for event organisers and their delegates. Greater competition will mean that venues will have to stay at the top of their game, driving change and innovation; something that we at Manchester Central feel very passionate about. You can already travel on the train from Manchester to London in just over two hours. This project will cut an hour off that journey time, which is fantastic. Manchester, and the rest of the North of England needs this to happen as soon as possible,” Robinson added.
The Government will now commission HS2 Ltd and Network Rail to look at a number of Sir David’s proposals in more detail. His proposals also include “a more comprehensive development of Euston station”, HS2’s London hub.
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