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HS2 Boss Backs Plans For HS3

Sir David Higgins gets behind the high-speed Manchester and Leeds train link

Written by . Published on October 27th 2014.


HS2 Boss Backs Plans For HS3
 

A NEW report by HS2 boss Sir David Higgins has reaffirmed the need for the new £50billion north-south HS2 rail line, but has also thrown weight behind the proposed east-west HS3 link between Manchester and Leeds.

A new HS3 link between Manchester and Leeds to replace the current TransPennine Express could cut journey times between the two major Northern cities from 48 minutes to 26 minutes with trains reaching speeds of up to 125mph.

Sir Higgins, the executive chairman of the HS2 rail project, states in the report that improved HS3 rail links in the North to complement the new HS2 lines were both 'desirable' and 'possible'. He said:

"I firmly believe that substantially improved services east-west across the North are not only desirable, but possible. We need to turn the aspiration into a practical plan.

"This is as important to the North as Crossrail is to London."

A recent statement released by Downing Street also gives plans for HS3 the 'green light' from Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, with proposals 'helping to transform the economy of the north'.

A new HS3 link between Manchester and Leeds to replace the current TransPennine Express could cut journey times between the two major Northern cities from 48 minutes to 26 minutes with trains reaching speeds of up to 125mph.

The new line would also open up possible links to Liverpool and Hull.

One industry expert has said the project, if approved, may cost around £7billion. Although, costs could fall if existing lines were simply updated.

HS2 and HS3HS2 and HS3

Speaking at the Museum of Science and Industry in June 2014, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Tatton MP George Osborne first proposed the high speed rail line (HS3) in order to create a 'Northern powerhouse' - a collection of cities forming a Northern 'supercity' to rival London as a global hub.

Osborne said: "We need a Northern powerhouse. Not one city, but a collection of cities - sufficiently close to each other that combined they can take on the world."

The goverment has now stated that a strategy looking at costs, options and timetables for HS3 is being drawn up. A report is expected in March 2015.

So what of timings? Well, don't get too excited, you're unlikely to be travelling by high-speed train for another decade or two.

Work on phase one of HS2 between London and Birmingham is set to start in 2017 and finish in 2026. Phase two from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds will begin in the mid-2020s and finish in 2033.

And timings for HS3? Nobody knows. We'll have to wait until the report in March 2015.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority have hailed the new report by Sir Higgins. Chair of the GMCA, Lord Peter Smith, said:

"In this new report Sir David states his support for a new HS2 route into
Manchester city centre via Manchester Airport and we believe this will
provide tangible, long-term benefits for the region as a whole.

"HS2 and the two Greater Manchester stations will stimulate unprecedented growth and regeneration and will put Manchester at the heart of a Northern Powerhouse."

Back in October 2013, Confidential published this article by Graham Stringer MP titled HS2: It Must Be Built.

Following that, Confidential Editor Jonathan Schofield published HS3 Before HS2: Parties Should Get North On Track First.

High-speed railHigh-speed rail

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50 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

A Nasty Tory plot to invest in the North and make it richer,because they think then people might vote Tory.Ed Balls will stop all this nonsense and make sure all investment goes to more important socialist projects,like marble staircases for the stations in City London.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

I am furious this government is proposing to spend money on improving the infrastructure of the North. Hopefully the next government will scrap this nonsense and spend taxpayers' money on more worthwhile things, like paying people to keep bedrooms in council houses empty.

AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

What use is this to Labour MPS commuting from their homes in London to the Commons?.A total waste of money.

AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

Yep, all scrapped by Labour if they win next years election. Unlike London's Crossrail 2 & spiffing new Garden Bridge, eh Ed?

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

Down with this sort of thing

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

Careful now

AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

Errrmmm...is the 50 minutes it takes already not fast enough? What a waste of money. Once again, the people that will benefit are the shareholders and the owners of the companies that will build it. It's not going to get people out of their cars either.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

Well why not make it even longer then?.And give some unneeded trains back to London.That would be the green solution.

Calum McGOctober 27th 2014.

Anon 1: have you some data to back up your unlikely claim that it won't get people out of their cars? The journey to Leeds is currently crowded and shite. It shouldn't take almost an hour to travel 43 miles. This will benefit many more people than just those that build it...

AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

Infrastructure investment is key to growth, its clearly a good thing but why does it have to wait until HS has been built. Do it ASAP.

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

@Calum everyone I work with lives closer to Manchester than I do, all of them drive to work and none of them like public transport. To me that's a good indication that it will take more than a faster train to deter them from driving.

AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

The "Manchester loving" George Osborne - quite possibly this regions most significant, most important, most benevolent local MP, EVER? (Well it sure ain't Kaufman or Meacher is it?)

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

Why does George Osnourne love Manchester so much?.Was he a Stone Roses fan in his youth or something?.

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

He's more a fan of old Manchester School Liberalism probably? Not unusual to hear the some establishment Tory politician talk respectfully about Manchester with regard to all that. Unlike the Conservative media & its journos though, who absolutely hate the place.

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

Stop calling him George....his name's Gideon

AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

I don't get this modern age sometimes. We've got all these allegedly dynamic, creative and wealth producing travellers constantly tapping away at their phones, tablets and laptops and they still apparently need to be in Leeds or Manchester 26 minutes earlier than they already are. Why?

5 Responses: Reply To This...
Calum McGOctober 27th 2014.

The question is 'why not', not 'why'. That route is dire (though not as bad as the embarassing Sheffield-Mcr route).

AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

Why do you need modern faster devices,what was wrong with the telegrams and letters?.

rinkydinkOctober 27th 2014.

Or pigeons?

AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

Let's all live in caves again.

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

Rushing about in trains is old fashioned now. It was a modern thing to do in 1830, but not now we have the internet, email, video links and all sorts of instant communication. Nearly all the people who will be whisked between Manchester and Leeds much faster by these new trains will not be movers and shakers, captains of industry and dynamic wealth creators. They'll be office drones who could probably do their jobs at any desk with a computer on it and therefore don't need to be travelling far to work at all.

AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

Yes Osborne loves the north so much he has allocated precisely £0 towards HS3. Some people are so gullible.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

It's his baby and he's only just announced it for heavens sake. Unlike gorgeous George, would 'mean' Ed Balls, 'curmudgeonly' Gordon Brown or 'stingy' Alistair Darling have funded the Northern Hub schemes? Not a chance!

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

Northern Hub was a labour scheme. As was HS2.

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

HS3 is not funded. Repeat NOT funded. There is an election coming up. What is it with Tory voters? You seem to be terribly susceptible to PR.

rinkydinkOctober 28th 2014.

Labour voters delude themselves from the absolute balls up they made last time. Wasn't Labour also in power in the 70s when the country went bankrupt, necessitating an emergency loan from the IMF? Someone told me this only today but it doesn't surprise me in the least. They don't know how to deal with money

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

Nonsense Rinkydink. Read up on your history rather lazily accepting other people's narrative. The loan was used to prop up the value of the pound due to external events, not because the country was "bankrupt".

rinkydinkOctober 28th 2014.

Oh... External events like in 2007? They always seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time don't they

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

Oh we've jumped to 2007 now. 2007 was an international crisis in banking causing a "credit crunch" and a banking bailout you will be paying for for many years to come. You're not doing much to dispel the impression that those of a right-wing disposition are shallow, unthinking and obsessed with rhetoric, Rinkydink.

AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

And when the Tories were in opposition barely a week went by without them lobbying vigorously for HS3 and other major infrastructure investments. Oh wait. ... Some people are SO gullible.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

Don't worry. When Labour win the election they can scrap HS2 and HS3 and use the money to scrap the bedroom tax

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

Vote in Labour and neither will get built. Balls & Miliband will have to find the funds for Crossrail 2 from somewhere. They need to win votes in the South remember, unlike the apathetic North.

AnonymousOctober 27th 2014.

More people who live in, near Manchester or tourists who are visiting the area, I am sure would visit places like Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield if the rail journey time was quicker from Manchester. For example, I recently went over to Southport by train and the journey was slow, the train old and I thought what a drag. If this train journey was quicker I am certain more people would leave their cars and visit that area more often. Once you get to Southport there is a super train service along the coast to Liverpool and a cycle/pathway that you can use in conjunction with the train. Surely the people of Southport and that area in general would welcome a faster train service to bring more people over to help their economy? In conclusion! Yes, I am in favour of rail improvement for the North West.

9 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

If Leeds or Sheffield or Liverpool was as quick a commute as Warrington or Bolton is now,it would massively increase the potential nighttime trade in Manchester.

Ghostly TomOctober 28th 2014.

Oh dear! I hope the only benefit we see from all this infrastructure building isn't more drunks on the streets of Manchester....

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

Ugggh! Drunken Scousers on the streets of Manchester waiting to get the last train home from Knott Mill or Victoria? No thank you!

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

I'm all in favour of rail improvement but not HS2 and HS3. A faster train to Sheffield would be to reopen the Woodhead tunnel, but that would have to work around the Hadfield trains and Dinting Arches would need to be modernised/replaced.

DarrenOctober 28th 2014.

Why would you not want HS2 & HS3? It's the chance to totally upgrade a system that's over 100 years old, something with so much capacity we can easily use it for the next 100 years. It'll mean we can take 1000's or articulated vehicles off the roads as freight will be moved by rail. These things have to go ahead for the north of the country to prosper. And it will if Labour don't get a chance to scrap it.

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

I'm all for replacing the existing lines, not building a new one alongside them.

GimboidOctober 28th 2014.

Replace them, meaning what exactly? They don't provide enough capacity as they are so what good would just replacing them do?

Mark FullerOctober 28th 2014.

I agree with anon. no.1 re. the terrible, slow and uncomfortable 142 Pacer trains on the Manchester- Southport line. John Pugh, Southports' Lib. Dem. M.P. has been urging Northern Rail to quickly replace these outdated trains since at least since 2012, but to no avail. As you state, Southport is well served by electrified services to Liverpool, but this substantial town{ population 90,000} and attractive resort, deserves better rail services to Wigan and Manchester. Much is being done, at long last, to improve our rail infrastructure in northern England, but the upgrading of neglected local lines, must take place along-side HS3 and other sexy schemes.

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

Southport? It's a sad place that attracts giddy scousers on nights out.

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

As a northerner I don't want to see any money wasted on them modern train improvements.If the government wants to spend money I rather instead it used on building a new airport for London or extending the tube.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

As a Midlander my opinions aren't as strong but I am certainly not opposed to the idea of high speed intercity rail travel.

Poster BoyOctober 28th 2014.

Gift horse.

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

25 min to great nightlife and shops in Leeds.Great news for Manchester.Now Manchester have up its game to keep business.

AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

I like to go a Leeds for a few drinks and a change of scenery, good beer scene and gig scene almost as good as Manchesters. I wouldn't go just to shop though, the shops are exactly the same, Liverpool too.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 28th 2014.

I was chatting to a man in the bar at Leeds station recently whilst we were waiting for our trains. He said he'd "been ovah t'Pennines to Manchester once." He made it sound like it was an arduous 'journey' by horse and cart. I thought Dude!...it's 2014 FFS!

AnonymousNovember 2nd 2014.

The whole exercise is a waste of money. The money set aside for HS2 would be better spent extending stations, increasing railway bridge heights to allow double decker trains, and in rolling-stock improvement.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Some of you might want to attend this www.manchester.ac.uk/…/…

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