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Plans revealed for major Stoke station upgrade ahead of HS2

Plans for a major to upgrade Stoke station into a key central hub for the surrounding HS2 network in the West Midlands have been unveiled.

The project includes work to both the interior and exterior areas of the station set to take place over the next 25 years.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has announced the plans this week, with the intention of using new high-speed connections to drive growth and regeneration in the area.

Projections include building two new platforms at the Grade II listed station, adding a new north entrance and constructing a modern concourse.

Proposed residential and commercial buildings also form part of the project, with the main talking points being a new hotel and multi-story carpark.

In addition, there will be an upgrade to traffic in the area which will divert cars away from the station and the installation of a new bridge across the canal into the town centre.

The work is being referred to as a “masterplan” devised jointly by the council and Network Rail. It will also be partially funded by the Constellation Partnership, a group of councils and LEPs across the region.

“Stoke-on-Trent railway station has some fantastic buildings with real heritage and character,” said Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage at Stoke. “There is huge potential here to increase passenger numbers, improve on-station facilities and drive regeneration and development across the surrounding area.

“This is about us starting to look now at what is needed to make the station a key transport hub for the region that builds on the city’s own investment and is ready for the game-changer that will be HS2. A bigger, better station ready for the transport and associated demands we know the future will bring can act as a catalyst for the area, bringing with it economic benefits for the whole city.”

The masterplan is a “first step” towards securing funding, added Jellyman, since it highlights the region’s aspirations for the station and the city as a whole, as well as “sets a quality threshold and an outline development plan to stimulate and guide future investment.”

“There is a real opportunity here to not only transform the station but also some of the land surrounding it with commercial, leisure and residential developments, which will bring with them jobs and growth,” he concluded.

HS2 connections are expected to make Stoke a central location in the new rail network, with rapid links to Birmingham and Manchester, as well as journeys of less than an hour into London.

Duncan Sutherland, non-executive director on the board of HS2 Ltd, welcomed the development plans and said the area was “incredibly important to the UK.”

“It is right in the middle of our HS2 network between the north west and the Midlands and therefore has the ability to be a really big economic driver,” he continued. “There is no point in building a railway unless you get economic growth, and you need the mechanisms locally that can come together as partnerships to help drive that growth forward, which is about housing, education, and right across the board.

“Masterplans have to be about more than just the station. Economic growth won’t just come from the stations – the stations are the catalysts.

“Therefore, it’s about what happens around the stations that is going to be incredibly important. Masterplans have to cover a fairly wide area and show how development is going to happen. It’s really important that HS2 works with local authorities and that councils are driving it forward for their own communities.”

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John Webster   20/10/2017 at 14:42

Didn't know HS2 was going anywhere near Stoke!

Andrew Gwilt   20/10/2017 at 14:51

Obviously yes. HS2 will go to Stoke but with Stoke station getting a upgrade which means more extra platforms to be built aswell for HS2 and WCML services to use Stoke station.

Mark Hare   20/10/2017 at 15:15

@John Webster - indeed. All the maps I've seen show HS2 Phase 2 going some way to the West of Stoke, with a station at Crewe. How exactly 'HS2 will make Stoke a central location in the new rail network, with rapid links to Birmingham and Manchester, as well as journeys of less than an hour into London' as the article states is anyone's guess!

Huguenot   20/10/2017 at 15:31

No, the plan is that HS2 trains for Stoke will come off the HS2 route and gain the classic network at Handsacre Jn near Lichfield. Whether or not such a service is economically justified is another matter. HS2 trains via Stoke won't go to Manchester, so "rapid links to ... Manchester" is just hype.

Graham Nalty   20/10/2017 at 19:59

Current HS2 plans are for Stoke HS2 services to leave HS2 at Handsacre, but this saves very little time compared to current services. Stoke City Council want to build the Meaford Curve from HS2 to Stoke just north of Stone to give a London to Stoke time of under an hour and about 20 minutes faster to Macclesfield and Stockport than via Handsacre. The Meaford Curve is a far better solution. But Stoke also needs a new line to Crewe that avoids the conflicting junction and low speeds at Kidsgrove. That way some London to Glasgow trains could be diverted via Stoke instead of via Stafford and give Stoke direct services to Scotland. Stoke also needs through direct services to Liverpool and Nottingham as well as to airports at Manchester, Liverpool and East Midlands. With the right commercial development around the station, there would need to be much more frequent services to Congleton, Longton and Blythe Bridge. Ideally all these measure should be part of the master-plan.

Mikeb   20/10/2017 at 20:33

It has been my understanding that good Councillors of Stoke did lobby long and hard for their city to be an HS2 hub but the "powers-that-be" decided in favour of Crewe. It is obvious that they did not like being informed that the line would not go through the centre of Stoke and are therefore planning a major station upgrade purely in an effort to change the planners minds.

Stratfan   21/10/2017 at 07:37

What is the demand for these services?

Michael King   21/10/2017 at 11:26

HS2 Train sets can run on many other lines. Liverpool to Crewe an example.

GB   21/10/2017 at 11:47

Surely when hs2 is opened to Manchester there will be less London and Manchester bound trains travelling through Stoke rather than more. Another wish list from a numbskull council that spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers money in trying to get the high speed line to run via Stoke rather than Crewe.

Andrew JG   23/10/2017 at 12:22

Sounds like a great plan to upgrade Stoke station as part of the HS2 scheme. But would there be a HS2 station to be built in Stoke or near Stoke.

GB   23/10/2017 at 17:24

The nearest hs2 station to Stoke, Andrew, will be at Crewe.

Andrew JG   24/10/2017 at 23:20

Thought so. Thanks GB.

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