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Liverpool proposes paying for HS2 extension with local business rates

Is Liverpool prepared to pay for HS2 to come to the city? A new report from think tank ResPublica argues that the city needs to be connected to HS2 to meet its economic targets, including the creation of more than 70,000 jobs by 2030 in sectors such as the knowledge economy, advanced manufacturing and tourism.

It recommends that Liverpool uses local business rates and employer National Insurance contributions to finance up to two-thirds (£2bn) of the development – a new model of railway funding.

The government is not currently planning to include Liverpool on HS2, but the High Speed Rail-Linking Liverpool Campaign, the city’s business and university leaders, and figures including Lord Heseltine have all called for the line to come to the city.

Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, told the Guardian: “The need for Liverpool to be connected to both the other cities of the north and London is huge if we as a city are going to play our part in generating money, jobs and continued growth through the Northern Powerhouse.”

However, whether Liverpool will be happy to pay for HS2 when the government is already planning to extend the line to other northern cities such as Manchester and Leeds remains to be seen.


Graham Nalty   23/02/2016 at 13:55

It is a great idea to link Liverpool into HS2 all the way as it would prevent Liverpool losing out to Manchester. But it is also very important to sue parts of that links to deliver much faster services to Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Stoke on Trent from that link.

Mike Killian   23/02/2016 at 15:46

Both those revenue sources will increase the cost of doing business in L'pool and discourage firms from staying/setting up there. The benefits of HS2 are very much pie- in- the-sky anyway. No truly independent analysis has come up with an overall benefit conclusion yet .

Lutz   15/05/2016 at 17:40

I'm not sure if there will be any significant value in connecting Liverpool direct to HS2. It is no longer the second city of the UK, it now services much the same purpose as Salford, Stockport, or Bolton as being a satellite of Manchester. With the concentration of investment on Manchester, a far greater proportion of the flows to/from the city will come from Manchester. So concentrating efforts on improving the existing links to Manchester is probably the best way forward.

John Burns   22/05/2017 at 09:10

@Lutz The Liverpool City Region is 2.2 million strong. Liverpool is no satellite of Manchester, which is about the same size. Manchester is no Munich or Barcelona. Did you know of the just opened (work still being done) new post-Panamax container terminal at Liverpool? Do you know of the widened Panama Canal? Do you know of new world shipping route patterns changing because of the widened canal that can take ships with 14,000 containers? I doubt it by your comments. The city needs more rail capacity and the Port of Liverpool have made this abundantly clear. The city that needs a HS2 link more than any is Liverpool.

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