Government confirms provision to join HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail for Liverpool City Region

Tuesday 15th November 2016

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has today (Tuesday 15th November) confirmed in a statement to Parliament that HS2 Phase 2b construction plans will make provision to join up north-south HS2 rail infrastructure with west-east Northern Powerhouse Rail to Liverpool.

In publishing the Government’s HS2 Command Paper today, the Secretary of State confirmed that the ‘Golborne Link’, a section of high speed rail line essential to delivering both Northern Powerhouse Rail and full HS2 connectivity to Liverpool City Region will be included in the HS2 Phase 2b construction plan, to be taken forward in a Hybrid Bill to Parliament. He also confirmed that so-called ‘passive provision’ - a small section of additional line that would enable the future construction to connect Northern Powerhouse Rail to the HS2 network to take place without disruption to services once they are running – will be provided for in the Bill.

Independent economic evidence commissioned by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority puts the economic benefit to the region of direct connection to both west-east and north-south full high speed rail at over £15 billion, with over 20,000 new jobs, 10,000 new homes and 2.9 million extra visitors.

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool and Chair of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said: 

“There are a number of good things in today’s statement, especially good news for the City Region’s connection with both the north-south HS2 and the new west-east Northern Powerhouse Rail.  But, there is still much to do in making sure Government commit to investment in a new station for the city centre and faster journey times to Manchester and London.

“The economic case for delivering full high speed rail for Liverpool City Region is huge and that’s why I will continue lobbying for this investment over the next four years as City Mayor, after we have started to see progress.

“Earlier this year we wrote along with thirteen of our Liverpool City Region MPs to the Secretary of State for Transport, the Chancellor and Lord Adonis, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission outlining the once in a lifetime opportunity to deliver the huge economic benefits offered by full high speed rail connectivity. The Northern Powerhouse Rail programme also has a critically important part to play here, so Transport for the North also made the same ask of Government and it is vitally important that we continue to pursue this work through.

“The economy is a key focus for my next four years as Mayor of Liverpool and investment for our businesses in both passenger and freight is vital, and it’s good to finally see our work bearing fruit with Government.”

Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel, said:

“Today’s Command Paper provides the basis from which we can now take forward the next phase of work with Transport for the North to prepare optimum design and the detailed business case for Liverpool’s connections with Northern Powerhouse and HS2, to be included in the draft HS2 Hybrid Bill from autumn 2017.

“There still remains a significant amount of work to be done including on the need for a new integrated station solution at Liverpool Lime Street to facilitate our long-term objectives, including halving the journey time between Liverpool and Manchester and reducing the Liverpool to London journey time by an additional 25 per cent.

“So in support of this Command Paper, we will continue other long-term work to explore options for a new station at Liverpool Lime Street that will be able to accommodate both Northern Powerhouse Rail and High Speed 2 trains.”

Asif Hamid, Interim Chair of Liverpool City Region LEP, said:

“Today’s announcement paves the way for the delivery of the extra passenger capacity the Liverpool City Region will need for the future along with the freight capacity that will make the most of the investments in our Port.

“The business community will continue to work hand-in-hand with public sector colleagues and partners in transport and government, in particular through Transport for the North, to deliver the long-term work required to make these huge opportunities a reality.

“Although the ultimate construction of this rail infrastructure may seem a long way in the future, it is the decisions we make now that will affect the prosperity not only of future generations, but that will also influence business confidence and investment in Liverpool City Region in the shorter term.”


Notes to Editors:

About Linking Liverpool 

Linking Liverpool is the campaign to bring full high speed rail to Liverpool. It represents the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, 6 local authorities of the Liverpool City Region, Merseytravel, the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and enjoys the backing of the main business network organisations the five Chambers of Commerce, Downtown in Business, Federation of Small Businesses, Institute of Directors, Liverpool BID Company, Professional Liverpool, Social Enterprise Network and The Women’s Organisation. Together, the organisations represent over 10,000 businesses and 125,000 employees in the region.

Economic Growth figures reflectGross Value Added (GVA), the official measure of the contribution to the economy of each individual producer, industry or sector in the United Kingdom.


Linking Liverpool is pursuing proposals for a new, twin-track rail lines between Liverpool and Manchester connecting on to the planned HS2 network. This has the potential to deliver:

  1. £15 billion GVA boost to economic growth
  2. 20,000 new jobs
  3. 10,000 new homes
  4. 2.9 million extra visitors per year
  5. 150 million less HGV freight miles a year
  6. 21 minute Liverpool-Manchester journey time
  7. 16 minute Liverpool-Manchester Airport journey time
  8. 1 hour 14 minute Liverpool-London journey time


For more information contact Merseytravel’s Press Office Tel: 0151 330 1151 email

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