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Responding to the publication of Lord Tony Berkeley’s Dissenting Report ‘A Review of HS2’, Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse Rail Director at Transport for the North, said:
“Whilst we appreciate Lord Berkeley’s strong support for investment in northern infrastructure, we’re concerned about the view that the North doesn’t need HS2.
“More rail capacity and better connectivity will be vital if we’re going to get people out of their cars and encourage more sustainable travel. The North has Victorian infrastructure, in many places either reaching or at capacity. It simply won’t be able to keep pace with growing passenger numbers, meaning productivity will be stunted if we don’t act.
“The plan for Northern Powerhouse Rail is to link it with HS2 – with some 80km of shared infrastructure – creating a high speed, high capacity network for the North. That’s better links both East to West and North to South, not an either or.
“The knock-on effects of scaling back or cancelling HS2 in the North would be significant, putting in jeopardy thousands of extra train journeys each year and the regional growth plans built around HS2 arriving.
“We made our position clear to the Oakervee Review when they visited us last year – that the North needs both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. We’ll await the publication of the Review, which now needs to be a priority to avoid further delays in planning and delivery of a fit-for-purpose railway for the North.”