I welcome the news announced by the UK Government to support the Crewe Hub vision, and to that end plans for HS2 Phase 2a will be modified to include:
• Provision of 400m platforms, extending Platform 5, to allow for the splitting and joining of HS2 services, which also opens opportunities to serve Stoke-On-Trent via HS2;
• A more efficient design for the proposed design for the proposed platform on the Manchester independent lines, incorporating a transfer deck to the main station; and
• A change to the design of the southern connection from HS2, so that HS2 joins (and takes over) the central two lines on the existing network.
These interventions, if combined with a junction north of Crewe, could in future allow Crewe station to support Constellation Partnership’s ambition of 5-7 HS2 trains per hour calling at Crewe and frequencies of 3.4 trains per hour on each of the regional links. The potential for a transfer deck would improve the passenger environment.
These developments would have a direct impact for people travelling to Flintshire as it will be quicker for people to get from Flint to South East England and vice versa. Not only that but it would improve the efficiency of trains between Flintshire and Liverpool and Manchester due to increased capacity on the network.
After months of campaigning and pressing ministers at the Dispatch Box we have finally had confirmation that the UK Government will accept the proposals to see Crewe train station to become a hub for HS2. This will dramatically improve our connectivity in Flintshire to the rest of the UK as it will decrease travelling time between us and South East England. It will also help us in driving economic growth with better links and more efficient links with Liverpool and Manchester as capacity on the railway network will be increased.
But I am not finished in my campaigning for Flintshire to see its fair share of infrastructure investment. It is shocking that we still only have one station in Delyn and that our line is still not electrified. We need to catch up with the rest of the UK so that we can deliver the jobs we need.
We are still an undiscovered gem in the tourism sector and if we could tap into the wealthy staycation market – especially people from South East England – it would be excellent for our historic market towns and coastal resorts. That can only be achieved if we have a reliable and fast train between Euston and Flint.