The Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, is meeting the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, this afternoon (Thursday 17 January) at a key summit to ensure everything possible is being done to maximise the benefits of High Speed Rail to Liverpool.

The Core Cities group of biggest English economic powerhouses outside of London invited the Transport Secretary to its meeting in Liverpool to call for the High Speed 2 (HS2) Y-shaped network to be delivered as quickly as possible.

The Transport Secretary will tell them that the Government is fully committed to delivering HS2 as early as possible and maximising the benefits for Liverpool, Merseyside and the North West.

The eight Core Cities (Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Bristol) support a full national network of High Speed Rail.

The Core Cities see this investment as a central component of a coherent national rail and wider infrastructure strategy to release capacity, rebalance the economy and support growth in important economic sectors, which would otherwise be constrained through a lack of connectivity.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

“I welcome the support of the Core Cities group – including Liverpool – and share their desire to see HS2 delivered as quickly as possible. HS2 is great news for Liverpool as it will significantly cut journey times to London, help create jobs, drive growth and transform connectivity between the North, Midlands and London.

“We have been working closely with Liverpool so that HS2 generates even more opportunities for people and businesses in this great city, Merseyside and the North West.

“When I announce my preferred route for the next stage of the project, we will be able to show how we have further improved our plans to deliver even greater benefits to the area.”

New high speed trains will serve Liverpool – coming right into Liverpool Lime Street – from the day HS2 opens in 2026. This is because many of the trains running on HS2 will seamlessly connect with the existing West Coast Main Line to serve a range of other towns and cities including Liverpool.

Forecasts show that the West Coast Main Line will be full by the mid 2020s. Without investment in new capacity, the country will be faced with more crowding, less reliable services and more freight on the roads.

HS2 will free up space for additional commuter, regional and freight services on the main North to South lines, including the West Coast Main Line.

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