I have long supported HS2. The announcement today of £33bn of investment over 20 years reaffirms that HS2 will be good for Manchester and create 60, 000 new jobs.
- 10,000 jobs during construction
- 1,400 permanent operational jobs
- 49,700 jobs in the regeneration and development areas associated with station developments.
There will be two new stations in Manchester, next to Piccadilly and Manchester Airport.
Liberal Democrats were the first party to commit to high-speed rail. It is a key part of our priority of moving towards a low-carbon economy. Once complete, HS2 will transfer approximately 9 million journeys from road to rail and 4.5 million from air to rail.
By shortening train times, HS2 will also make investment and economic interest in regions outside of London and the South-East more attractive. This is vital if we are to help rebalance the UK economy.
Other European countries, such as France, Germany and Spain, have already invested in high-speed rail, and have several rail connections which are much faster than ours. The UK is in danger of falling behind unless we make plans to meet future demand, ease capacity and cut down on train times for millions of passengers.
Once completed, HS2 will allow trains to travel at more than 200mph and reduce journey times between London and key cities in the north and in Scotland. It also means that the whole country will be better connected with the rest of Europe.
The environmental impact will be minimised by following existing rail or road transport corridors, using deep cuttings and tunnels, and avoiding sensitive sites wherever possible.
Here in Manchester, HS2 will go through south Manchester, some 30m underground. Click to see details
I have sought assurances from ministers that there will be the minimum disruption to those living above the new line.