CGI Photo of HS2 on the train tracks.

Warrington is supporting new calls for the government to provide clarity on HS2.

Business |
Climate |

The council has joined forces with Liverpool City Region, and the region’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in expressing strong concerns over the rumoured cancellation of HS2.

Leader of Warrington Borough Council, Cllr Russ Bowden has signed an open letter from Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram, along with an open letter from the Cheshire and Warrington LEP, urging the government to stick to the HS2 plans.

The letters, to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, have been issued in response to rumours that the government will end HS2 at Birmingham, scrapping planned further phases – Phase 2a from the Midlands to Crewe and Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester.

This cancellation would mean that Northern Powerhouse Rail - which will bring a transformational improvement to east west connections from a new Warrington Bank Quay low level station - will also not happen, as it relies on HS2 infrastructure.

Cllr Russ Bowden said: “We are extremely concerned by the rumours that have been emerging about the future of HS2. Stopping the scheme at Birmingham and scrapping planned further phases could cost our region’s economy an additional £2bn a year.

“It’s vital that investment to connect the north continues, as part of our ongoing work to achieve equity with the south. HS2 will bring significant long-term economic benefits for the north and is crucial for our future growth. If the government is actually concerned about regional economic disparities - so called levelling up - it will think hard and not derail the full HS2 plans.

“Axing HS2 would have a devastating impact on our region, taking away this opportunity to grow our economy, unlock new housing and employment, and level up under-performing areas.

“While we seek clarity from the government that HS2 will go ahead as planned, our opposition to the Golborne Link - with its unnecessary impacts on our communities and no discernible benefits for our town - remains unchanged.

“We urge the government to consider the economic cost of cutting the North off from modern transport infrastructure and ask them to provide reassurance that they will stick to their promise to deliver both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, in full, as quickly as possible.”