A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY

Linking Liverpool is a campaign to benefit everyone in the Liverpool City Region. It isn’t just about faster journeys. It's about bringing economic growth to Liverpool City Region and the rest of the North of England by delivering better transport connections, more capacity for both passengers and freight, and quicker journeys.

We owe it to the next generation to make the most of this opportunity

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN

WHY WE WANT HIGH SPEED RAIL FOR LIVERPOOL CITY REGION

There are many reasons why Liverpool City Region should get High Speed Rail.

One major one is that it will help rebalance the UK economy and make us a key part of a network which will bring benefits to Liverpool City Region and the whole of the North of England.


But bringing this once in a lifetime opportunity to reality means that the the people and businesses of Liverpool City Region need to get behind it, and support the Linking Liverpool campaign.

There is much talk about the northern cities and towns working together to punch their weight economically. It’s important our City Region has the rail connections to ensure it can add its strength to the 'northern powerhouse'.

Linking Liverpool is calling for:

Liverpool to be fully connected to new rail lines both East-West between Liverpool, Manchester and across the North of England and connecting directly to the planned North-South ‘HS2’ Network, specifically:

  • A new dedicated twin track line connection to Golborne. Delivering
  • Liverpool – Manchester Piccadilly journey times of 20 minutes
  • Full HS2 connectivity to  Liverpool to the full HS2 network
  • Greater passenger capacity
  • Greater freight capacity

 We want this to be delivered in the first phase of the Transport for the North programme.

At the same time the campaign recognises the importance of a range of other important transport initiatives within the Liverpool City Region.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is behind the Linking Liverpool campaign?

The campaign is backed by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and its constituent local authorities – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral–along with Merseytravel, the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and private sector businesses and organisations. 

The campaign aim is to influence the plans of Transport for the North and the Government to bring economic growth to Liverpool City Region, and the rest of the North of England, by delivering better transport connections, more capacity for both passengers and freight, and quicker journeys. 

What are the current plans?

Currently the North-South HS2 project does not connected fully to Liverpool. However, we are making progress in our campaign with our ambition to ensure Liverpool is fully connected to new rail infrastructure both East-West and North-South now reflected in Transport for the North’s developing plans.

We need to make sure that when plans are finalized that Liverpool City Region is fully connected.

Why has Liverpool not been included in the plans from the start?

We are one of the fastest growing economies in England with a thriving City Centre supporting tourism and business growth as well as ambitions for developing the City Region as a freight and logistics hub creating thousands of new jobs. New high speed rail connectivity and new capacity is essential to these aims.

Apart from the conviction that it doesn’t make any sense for Liverpool not to be fully connected with the ‘northern economic powerhouse’, the original plans that excluded Liverpool were based on outdated figures from 2008 which underestimated the size of the population of the region. These showed that the population was falling, when the 2011 census indicated it was rising.

The population and economy of the Liverpool City Region is bigger than other areas which will have a direct service and over the past five years the economy of Liverpool has grown faster than the national average.

Linking Liverpool partners have commissioned new, up to date research that demonstrates a much stronger economic case and this case has been accepted by government and enabled us to make progress in being included in plans.

However, this does not mean there is not more work for our campaign to do to make sure that we get what we want in the final plans. We must keep up the pressure and continue to make a strong, evidence based case, with the support of all campaign partners and the public, for being fully connected.

High Speed Rail is at the heart of a 30-year long-term transport plan for growth for the Liverpool City Region - recognising that the benefits from high speed rail connections can only be properly realised if the rest of the network is ready to support and grow connectivity and capacity within the City Region and beyond.

What are the main economic benefits for Liverpool City Region?

Success in our campaign will directly support the Liverpool City Region’s growth ambitions. A full, direct North-South HS2 connection alone would deliver: 

An overall £8.3bn boost to the Liverpool City Region economy 

14,000 new jobs - or up to 26,000 if wider regeneration linked to HS2 is taken into account. 

An additional £30m a year in business rates, meaning more money for local services.

20,000 more people looking to make the Liverpool City Region their home – good news for the construction industry in meeting the demand for 10,000 new houses.

Better, faster connectivity to Liverpool through High Speed Rail could encourage even more people to take holidays in the city and surrounding areas, or start them here - 723,000 additional visitors, spending around £87m, supporting around 1,740 additional jobs and £66m in annual GVA. 

61,000 cruise passengers are expected to visit Liverpool in 2014. Even without HS2. 

Achieving this along with the new East-West connections to Manchester and beyond would bring even greater benefits. 

As important – this potential to support our ‘freight and logistics hub’ aspirations, increasing capacity from freight movements within the City Region and from the City Region to the national network. It is estimated that up to 20,000 new jobs could be created throughout the City region from our freight and logistics hub aspirations.

61,000 cruise passengers are expected to visit Liverpool in 2014. Even without HS2.

As important – High Speed 2 has the potential to support our ‘freight and logistics hub’ aspirations, increasing capacity from freight movements within the City Region and from the City Region to the national network. It is estimated that up to 20,000 new jobs could be created throughout the City region from our freight and logistics hub aspirations.

How will this benefit ordinary commuters in the City Region?

Liverpool is the economic heart of the City Region, and one of the two powerhouses of the North West economy. One of the reasons we’ve seen such growth on commuter rail services recently is because of the concentration of high value employment in the regional centre. People may work in the regional centre but they live all across the City Region, so making the regional centre better connected and more attractive to business is something that the whole of the City Region should welcome. 

But Linking Liverpool will have benefits for those people who don’t work in the regional centre, because it will free up capacity on the existing network which can be used for additional commuter services, and for freight – particularly important in the context of the Port and the important job-creating developments planned as part of our SUPERPORT and Atlantic Gateway strategies for growth. 

The Liverpool City Region already has an excellent commuter railway network in Merseyrail and further improvements are already underway, like the project to bring new trains to the Merseyrail network.

However, by putting long distance services onto a dedicated line, and freeing up space on the existing network for shorter distance trips, we can also further improve our internal connectivity, which has benefits for not only commuters, but for businesses here as they trade with others within the city region.

What about the benefits for the wider public?

Jobs, the safeguarding of them and the creation of new ones, would be the most obvious benefit. Experience from Europe has shown that high speed rail station locations become regeneration areas. We are integrating our city centre plans into our East-West and North-South high speed rail plans to ensure this happens, so that services to and from Liverpool can ‘plug in’ to the City Region network so that all residents can benefit. 

These new connections will make the economy of the North stronger by pulling cities closer together for business, employment, leisure and tourism. 

What role can business and the private sector play in Linking Liverpool?

Businesses can and already are playing a really important role. Local authorities can talk about the importance of connectivity and of capacity, but it’s business that can demonstrate what this means in real life terms. But it is important to be vocal. 

When the Local Enterprise Partnership submitted its Growth Plan seeking investment in our transport infrastructure over 40 influential businesses provided endorsements or letters of support stating how the investment will help their businesses grow and create jobs. Government have been clear that this was significant in their decision to award the City Region over £232m of resource. The private sector voice can really make a difference. 

The Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership has been integral to the work done in the City Region to date in establishing the evidence base and in engaging with Government alongside other private sector campaigns making the case that Liverpool should be served. 

Linking Liverpool also has the active support of many individual businesses and all the main business network organisations.

What role can business and the private sector play in securing High Speed Rail for Liverpool?

Businesses can play a really important role. Local authorities can talk about the importance of connectivity and of capacity, but it’s business that can demonstrate what this means in real life terms. But it is important to be vocal.

When the Local Enterprise Partnership submitted its Growth Plan seeking investment in our transport infrastructure over 40 influential businesses provided endorsements or letters of support stating how the investment will help their businesses grow and create jobs. Government have been clear that this was significant in their decision to award the City Region over £232m of resource. The private sector voice can really make a difference.

The Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership has been integral to the work done in the City Region to date in establishing the evidence base and in engaging with Government alongside other private sector campaigns making the case that Liverpool should be served.

If businesses want HS2 to come to Liverpool it is vital they continue to make their voices heard.

What are the implications for freight?

Freight is particularly important for the Liverpool City Region. The development of SUPERPORT and our freight and logistics hub are recognised as two of the key activities that will drive our economic growth. Both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have been in Liverpool and have spoken about the potentially transformative effects of the SUPERPORT and the Atlantic Gateway in rebalancing the economy. 

Ensuring that freight that can be adequately accommodated on rail is of interest not only to the City Region, but also Manchester and towns and cities right across the east-west corridor and beyond.

But until recently HS2 Ltd has not in the past given full recognition to the importance of freight. The current proposal for high speed trains to run onto the West Coast Main Line means that there will be virtually no capacity released from the current network north of Crewe. This is something that has been raised with DfT, Transport for the North and HS2 Ltd. 

It is now clear that delivering full East-West and North-South connectivity for Liverpool City Region through the Transport for the North programme is not only possible but also achievable and affordable. 

Freeing up of capacity for freight, gives the Government a very strong example of the economic rebalancing effects that investment in rail infrastructure can bring.

Is there any reason to think the Government might change the current plans for HS2?

We are already making Government think differently: turn the clock back a year and very little High Speed debate even thought of the implications for freight – but now this is front and centre of what Government thinks. 

Our evidence and proposals are now included in Transport for the North’s current plans and we are continuing to push our case strongly to ensure this remains the case.

Will HS2 benefit cities on the line or will all the benefits go to London?

Connecting to full East-West and North-South high speed rail will deliver benefits for the Liverpool City Region, and the whole of the North. Examples from across Europe show that infrastructure investment opens important avenues for the regeneration of cities and regional economies. 

We will benefit from both the freight and passenger capacity of increased speed and it will enable us to make the very best of the huge investments being made through SUPRTPORT, making Liverpool the port for the north.

How will HS2 rebalance the economy and build connections in the North?

Connections between cities in the North are vitally important, and we believe it doesn’t make sense to try to develop the ‘northern economic powerhouse’ without the full participation of one of its strongest regions. 

There’s a growing recognition that London cannot continue to grow exponentially at the expense of the rest of the country. All the political parties now agree on the need to support the strengthening of the North’s economy. But we have to recognise that London is a world city, it’s the centre of our economy, and for the City Region to thrive, we have to be as well connected to it as we possibly can be.

Aren’t journey times fast enough already?

This is about capacity - not journey times. Parts of the railway network are at capacity and the only sensible way to address that is to build a new line. The difference in cost between building a new conventional speed line and building a high speed line is marginal, but the difference in benefits is significant. So we need a new line, and if we build a new line, we should build a high speed line. 

But we shouldn’t underestimate the value of faster journeys. Attending a meeting in London still means you’re out of the office for the best part of a day. If we can reduce that return journey time by a couple of hours, especially as the new line is needed anyway, isn’t that something that people and businesses should welcome?

Is the city region capable of speaking with one voice on High Speed Rail for Liverpool?

Yes. That is what this campaign is all about. Statutory organisations have joined with the private sector and business leaders to get behind this campaign. We are all agreed on what we want to achieve. 

This ability to speak with one voice, and to clearly articulate a single message, is critical if we are to achieve the best deal for the City Region. Transport connectvity is the biggest potential facilitator of growth in a generation and we believe that no-one on Merseyside wants to miss out on the benefits this could bring. 

It was the collection of partners representing all of the City Region that commissioned the Economic Benefits Study which gave us concrete evidence that a direct line into Liverpool would bring us big benefits. Now we have that evidence we’re working together to concertedly push for that direct line.

CAMPAIGN PARTNERS

High Speed Rail - Linking Liverpool is supported by the Combined Authority, and its strategic transport adviser Merseytravel, Local Authorities in the City Region and other public sector partners, alongside the Local Enterprise Partnership and private sector businesses and organisations.

                     
 

KEY FACTS AND FIGURES

A full, direct North-South HS2 and East-West Northern Powerhouse Rail connection alone would deliver the following economic benefits for Liverpool City Region, with delivery of all our East-West and North-South connectivity proposals bringing:

An overall £15 billion boost to the Liverpool City Region economy

20,000 new jobs

An additional £30m a year in business rates, meaning more money for local services.

10,000 more people looking to make the Liverpool City Region their home - good news for the construction industry in meeting the demand for 10,000 new houses.

Better, faster connectivity to Liverpool through High Speed Rail could encourage even more people to take holidays in the city and surrounding areas, or start them here - 723,000 additional visitors, spending around £87m, supporting around 1,740 additional jobs and £66m in annual GVA.

High Speed Rail is also particularly important in freeing up capacity for freight movements within the City Region and from the region to the national network. Up to 20,000 new jobs could be created throughout the City Region from our freight and logistics hub aspirations.

NEWS AND EVENTS

What’s been happening on the High Speed Rail – Linking Liverpool campaign…

NEWS & EVENTS

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