The UK Government has announced that it will be undertaking a review into HS2. I noted to the Secretary of State that investment has been put aside for the scheme as it would benefit North Wales directly via the Crewe interchange. Losing HS2 would be bad for Delyn as companies in our area will lose the business they have been promised. Plus, it will mean that transport spending for the North Wales and North West England corridor has been stopped by the current UK Government.
I wanted to know what opportunities the Welsh Government will have to feed into this review to ensure that the UK Government knows of the disruption it will cause to our local economy if they pull out of HS2.
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. Read more “HS2 Crewe Hub”
On Thursday, I asked a follow up question to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, regarding the letter I co-signed with a cross-party group of MPs on the future of HS2 and North Wales.
I asked him if he would look at the development of HS2 and the hub at Crewe to ensure that we would have a decent link to the high speed rail network. By linking us effectively to HS2 it will ensure that businesses and people based in Flintshire will have greater access to Manchester, Birmingham and London allowing for our local economy to thrive.
The Secretary of State said that he does know of our letter and that this proposal for a better hub at Crewe is “very much top of mind at the Department.” Time will tell if this is true. I will be continuing to press the Government for a cast iron guarantee that this will be the case.
I have co-signed a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, with MPs from North East Wales, Cheshire and beyond calling on Crewe to be made a hub train station when HS2 is completed.
Stakeholders across our region are agreed that we need Crewe to be a hub on the HS2 network that can provide good regional connectivity to North Wales, Cheshire and neighbouring counties. In order to function effectively as a hub and deliver 360 degree connectivity, the end solution must deliver the right frequency and extent of HS2 services, provide good cross platform connections for local services to HS2, and not result in any constrained capacity for classic train services to access and use the existing station.
In the view of all those that signed the letter, the proposals that we understand to have been under consideration fall short of being able to achieve these outcomes. We fear that unless the right solution is put in place now, as part of the once-in-a-generation investment that HS2 represents, our region will continue to under-perform for decades to come. Read more “HS2 and Delyn”