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Tuesday 29 January 2013

HS2 Announcement creates a massive opportunity for further growth and prosperity in Cheshire East via Crewe


Cheshire East Council today welcomed plans that will bring a huge economic boost for Crewe.

The proposed route will take this new line under Crewe and there will be a connection point from the new line to the West Coast Main Line south of Crewe. The proposed route does not directly affect our key historic towns and tourist assets, such as Tatton Park, and this is as a result of Cheshire East Council working with our MPs etc.

A HS2 connection at Crewe will enable two trains an hour from Liverpool to switch on to the new high speed line at Crewe to London and give a much-reduced journey time of 58 minutes.

This total connectivity will stimulate new investment and jobs in Crewe and the surrounding area.

In addition to this, the maintenance depot for the Manchester branch HS2 line will be at Crewe – creating more than 300 jobs.

In addition to the direct benefits for Crewe, there are significant benefits for people and businesses in the north of the Borough – who, through improved connectivity to Manchester Airport, will have direct access to the new HS2 station, which is planned to be close to the M56 junction 6.

Council Leader Michael Jones today said: “This is great news for Cheshire East and for Crewe in particular. This decision firmly demonstrates the government’s belief in Crewe and puts Crewe firmly at the centre of the North West’s growing economy. HS2 consolidates Cheshire East at the most connected area in the UK.

“Your MPs George Osborne, Edward Timpson and I, have fought hard to keep the line away from Knutsford and Tatton, which we have been successful in achieving. Throughout the process we raised concerns about the line of route and raised the profile for a common sense solution, which I believe we have achieved.

“I will continue this fight to ensure we continue to get the best deal for all the people of Cheshire East.

“This is great news for the 44,000 people who live in Cheshire East and own a business in the area and beyond. It is great news if you are seeking to invest.

“We already have international companies such as Waters and AstraZeneca, who have chosen to come here and expand their operations, and this news today reinforces the fact that Cheshire East is open for business

“The history of HS2 was that it was always coming to Manchester and to the airport and as a result of today’s announcement our industries will gain from the airport station, allowing our companies and residents accessibility to London via the airport in an hour.

“Those living in the north of the Borough will also benefit from much-improved road and rail access to Manchester Airport. 

“High Speed 2 is fantastic news for most of our residents. However, as we celebrate the news for Crewe, we should also strive to ensure any disruption is minimised and also that our beautiful land in Cheshire East is protected.

“I will work hard to minimise the impact along the proposed route and ensure that residents, businesses and landowners affected will receive the appropriate compensation in a timely manner. I will also be working hard to ensure that the environmental impact along the new line is minimised.

“I will now continue to lobby hard for a new dedicated HS2 station at Crewe in the tunnel directly under the existing station, creating a fully-integrated hub station between HS2 and the existing Rail network. This solution would provide even greater connectivity for Crewe, Cheshire East and the whole of the North West and North Wales, with a focus on a much wider range of destinations.

“The estimated cost of a hub station at Crewe is £200m. The cost for UK plc of not doing this – as a result of the loss of economic performance and social costs in areas such as North Wales, Stoke and Liverpool – could be as much as £2 billion. I will be developing this argument strongly as part of our process of active lobbying for the new station.

“With this 360 degree connectivity secured, I believe that we will have then achieved the maximum economic benefits for UK plc and for the local people and businesses of Cheshire East.”

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