Call for greater speed on railways

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BOSSES at Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership call for the North West to be included in plans for the next stage of the railway’s high speed link.

As transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin will announce plans for the next stage of High Speed 2 (HS2) – Britain’s new high speed railway – Mike Blackburn, chairman of GM Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), urges him to consider Manchester as a hub.

He said: “For Manchester, this will be momentous news. HS2 is an unmissable opportunity that the North West must grab.

“By linking Birmingham with Manchester, the East Midlands, South Yorkshire and Leeds in a Y-shaped network, HS2 will connect nine of the UK’s 10 largest cities.

“It will benefit rail users and it will also free up much-needed capacity on local and regional services across the north, easing overcrowding on commuter routes and taking the pressure off our motorways.

“It will also be a huge shot in the arm for the economy, delivering 10,000 new jobs to the North West.

“But more importantly, high speed will bring cities in the North and Midlands much closer together, so we can really start rivalling London for jobs and opportunities and bridge the economic divide.

“Greater Manchester is a place built on the foundations of the industrial revolution and all the ambition and drive of the Victorian railway pioneers, and our economy has always thrived on innovation.

“Let’s welcome HS2 with the same forward-thinking spirit that made Manchester great, and help it grow even greater.”