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08.09.14

HS2 benefits available for Stoke and Stafford – Greengauge 21

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire could be major beneficiaries of HS2 if Phase 2 of the project is accelerated and alternative services are put in place, according to a new report by Greengauge 21.

The study – Stoke and Staffordshire can be a key HS2 beneficiary – as well as Crewe – suggests that Stafford, Stoke, Macclesfield and Stockport could get a direct HS2 service to London Euston, as well as Crewe.

The route would be the new HS2 line from Euston to Handsacre Junction north of Lichfield and then the existing line to Stafford and Stoke. It was stated that Services could continue to Macclesfield and Stockport and terminate at the new HS2 terminus alongside the existing station at Manchester Piccadilly.

Jim Steer, director of Greengauge 21, said: “Our report sets out the opportunity to serve both Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford with a regular direct HS2 service, while protecting the wide set of benefits from accelerated development of the HS2 route to Crewe. It is not a case of one or the other of Stoke or Crewe but both.”

The report also goes on to show how, with the Crewe extension, the existing West Coast Main Line in the West Midlands could be freed up to deliver regular interval services between Stoke and Stafford and Rugeley and Lichfield each of which could form public transport hubs, serving a wider catchment across Staffordshire with connecting rail and bus services.

Steer added: “Our report shows how the preferred HS2 route to Crewe can bring significant benefits to Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. It is not necessary to discard the preferred route for HS2 to Crewe for Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford to be provided with an hourly and possibly half hourly HS2 service to London.

“The scope to regenerate Stoke-on-Trent - and for Stoke to act as a transport hub - will be just as strong as in other cities served by HS2. And the proposed hub for HS2 at Crewe is unaffected avoiding a bogus choice between benefitting one location or the other.”

Last month, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for transport Ruth Rosenau said that nowhere is more prepared to maximise the economic growth opportunities of HS2 than Stoke-on-Trent.

“This is a city with a unified public and private sector and total commitment to a common vision, a burgeoning enterprise culture, and hundreds of acres of development ready brownfield land,” she said.

“We have already worked up a comprehensive and compelling case for the HS2 Stoke Route. It’s been well received by Government and HS2. More and more experts are saying our case makes sense.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Graham Nalty   09/09/2014 at 15:43

This is a brilliant idea. Stoke has a very large population and this would bring a very high economic growth in an area where there are people to fuel that growth. A station a Crewe is not a good idea. Has anyone any real measured evidence where a parkway station on a high speed line in a greenfield site can generate as much economic growth as a station in the centre of a large city. Bristol Parkway does not provide evidence of sufficient benefit as it is on a mixed speed line with busier stations in smaller cities every 30 miles distance whereas distances between stops on high speed lines are much greater.

Chris M   26/09/2014 at 00:17

Greengauge 21 is being a little bit optimistic with timings - it would be about 55 minutes to Stafford and 70 to Stoke, only some 15-20 minutes faster than today. Still well worth doing though, using one of the Heathrow paths. I don't however agree with terminating these workings at Manchester Piccadilly - I suggest a greater benefit and more passengers might be had by sending them to Huddersfield, calling at Guide Bridge and Stalybridge. And if two units run to Stafford, the second one could reverse and reach Wolverhampton in just 68/69 minutes from Euston.

Moomo   19/10/2014 at 22:17

The Stoke route offers lousy connectivity for Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales. A quick look at their figures suggests that "Phase 1" Liverpool services will be barely any faster than today.

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