Engineers welcome HS3 plan
A new high-speed rail link between Manchester and Leeds will help the North compete with London, says the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Chancellor George Osborne said in a speech in Manchester that the cities of the North "are individually strong, but collectively not strong enough. The whole is less than the sum of its parts."
He has proposed a new 'HS3' link should be considered as part of a review into the second phase of the £50bn HS2 project.
"Today I want us to start thinking about whether to build a new high speed rail connection east-west from Manchester to Leeds," Osborne said.
"Based on the existing rail route, but speeded up with new tunnels and infrastructure. A third high speed railway for Britain."
Jeremy Acklam from
Institution of Engineering and Technology
said: “One of the biggest benefits of High Speed Rail is the economic redevelopment opportunities.
“There is great potential through the connections to the east and west coast main lines for cities other than Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds to benefit from HS2, but the challenges around realising these benefits need to be tackled now if these locations are not to fall behind.
“We need to think long and hard about the cities we include in the proposed HS3 linking Manchester and Leeds. Examples could include Liverpool via Warrington and Preston via Bolton in the west, which will also allow high speed services to run from London to Liverpool and London to Preston. In addition, from Leeds, the line could be extended to Darlington and Newcastle via York.
“To increase the project benefit to the north, further assistance will be needed to ensure that northern cities are well prepared for bringing forward infrastructure work. In particular planning to fast-track the development of employment and local transport infrastructure will be required.
“Including these additional cities will significantly improve ability of the northern cities each side of the Pennines to compete with London as a regional powerhouse.”
In his speech today at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, Osborne said he was setting out "a vision of the Northern Powerhouse – not to rival the South, but to be its brother in arms as we fight for Britain’s share of the global economy".
"Let’s bring our Northern cities together, so they’re bigger and better than anyone can be alone," he said.
"The Northern Powerhouse can’t be built overnight. It’s a long-term plan for a country serious about its long-term economic future. It means jobs and prosperity and security for people here over future decades.
"And I promise you this – I will work tirelessly with anyone across political divides in any of these great cities to make the Northern Powerhouse a reality."