William Eichler 23 February 2016

Liverpool should be connected to HS2, urges report

Liverpool should be connected to HS2, urges report image

Liverpool should be joined to the high speed rail route in order to maximise the city’s contribution to the Northern Powerhouse, says ResPublica.

The latest report from the think tank, entitled Ticket to Ride: How high speed rail for Liverpool can realise the Northern Powerhouse, advocates connecting the Liverpool City Region into the north-south high speed rail spine, and then on to Manchester and further east as part of the proposed trans-Northern high speed line.

It argues the city could finance up to two thirds of this investment through the retention of business rates and employer National Insurance contributions.

The report also recommends the establishment of a new City Region Business Senate, proposals to raise the contribution of Liverpool's universities, and a renewed focus on the economic potential of Liverpool city centre.

Angela Eagle, MP for Wallasey and shadow business secretary, said: ‘This report rightly highlights the strong economic performance of the North West in recent years, and its potential for further growth in the future. But without a connection into the high speed rail network this growth will be cut off.

She continued: ‘The resources of the North West have long been under-appreciated, but its assets such as the Port of Liverpool are of national economic significance.

‘The Port's freight potential, and the dynamic business community in Liverpool, mean that businesses around the country will benefit from connecting Liverpool into the high speed rail network, and this report makes a powerful and incisive case for that investment.’

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