HS2: Stoke-on-Trent launches business case for station

Media caption,
The Government's earmarked route for the second phase of the high speed line currently runs through Crewe.

City leaders in Stoke-on-Trent have launched their business case for a HS2 station.

The Government's earmarked route for the second phase of the high speed line currently runs through Crewe.

But Stoke-on-Trent City Council believes their alternative route is greener, cheaper and will deliver benefits to more people.

HS2 Ltd chairman David Higgins is due to make his recommendations on 27 October before MPs make a decision.

Image source, Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Image caption,
City leaders said running the line through Stoke-on-Trent would deliver benefits to more people
Image source, HS2 Ltd
Image caption,
HS2 Ltd chairman David Higgins recommended extending the route to Crewe in his initial report in March

Council leader Mohammed Pervez said: "The Stoke route would generate about £200m extra growth for the regional economy, while Crewe would not lose out.

"In contrast, the emerging Crewe scheme would generate much smaller gains and isolate the city economy. It could even have a net negative impact on the regional economy."

The Crewe option would see an out-of-town station created while Stoke-on-Trent is proposing a city centre station linking up to its university quarter.

The specifics of exactly where that line would run have not been revealed.

But Cheshire East Council leader Michael Jones said having the HS2 hub station at Crewe made sense.

"Crewe is the gateway to the north, south east and west and has the 360 degree connectivity needed for such a major project," he said.

"We have always urged Stoke to work with us to ensure that the region benefits as a whole from the £1.5 billion worth of inward investment that would follow and we stand by this.

"Work with us, we say, and not against us and Stoke will benefit too."

Construction of HS2 is due to start in 2017, with phase one from London to Birmingham due to be completed by 2026.

Earlier this month the Department for Transport announced a change to the HS2 route in the Lichfield area, after local environmental concerns.

The Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has reassured parliament HS2 construction costs will be kept below £42bn.

An HS2 Ltd spokesman said: "In his initial report in March, David Higgins recommended extending the route to Crewe. That was his initial thinking.

"Since then more work has been done. On 27 October he will be setting out his recommendation for phase two.

"It will then be up to transport ministers to decide which route they want."

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