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WYCA rues omission of HS3 in Transport Investment Strategy

A northern combined authority has voiced concern after the new national Transport Investment Strategy unveiled by DfT this week made limited reference to Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Amongst other initiatives, the plan set out commitments to a number of rail projects including continuing investment in HS2 and enhancements to the £30bn Rail Investment Strategy which has helped deliver redevelopments of key stations like Birmingham New Street, Reading and Manchester Victoria.

“Getting transport spending right is crucial for the country’s future,” transport secretary Chris Grayling said. “The transport investment strategy sets out a blueprint for how we can harness the power of transport investment to drive balanced economic growth, unlock new housing projects, and support the government’s modern industrial strategy.

“This government is taking the big transport decisions for Britain’s future like HS2 and Heathrow, while delivering the biggest investment in roads and rail for a generation.

“At the heart of our approach is a plan to make transport work for the people who use it and for the wider economy.”

But crucially, the investment strategy only made a passing mention to future projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail, or HS3, as well as Crossrail 2 – stating that they were considering moving forward on these initiatives. 

This omission has not gone unnoticed by some in the north of England, as Cllr Keith Wakefield, the West Yorkshire CA’s Transport Committee chair, said it was disappointing that the government had not turned its eye to HS3.

“It’s concerning that the document’s sole mention of Northern Powerhouse Rail is where it says the government is considering the case for it, alongside London’s Crossrail 2 proposals,” he said.

“With stops in York, Leeds and Bradford and across the north, Northern Powerhouse is not a regional priority but a national one that this government must support unequivocally,” Cllr Wakefield argued.

“I would, therefore call on Chris Grayling to make the same commitments to Northern Powerhouse Rail he did just a few weeks ago in Halifax when he was on the election campaign trail.”

Cllr Wakefield added that he was hopeful the strategy would deliver a less congested, better network and a more balanced economy, as well as build on what’s already been achieved through investment in transport in Leeds and West Yorkshire.

“But re-balancing the government needs to redress the legacy of underinvestment that has seen transport spending in London six times that per head as in our region, which means real increases in funding and not just spreading existing investment more thinly,” he concluded.

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Andrew Gwilt   07/07/2017 at 04:42

Can't HS3 wait until HS2 rail link has been completed.

Michael Bell   10/07/2017 at 19:27

There is now doubt that phase 1 of HS2 will ever be built, all 175 kms of it. It looks as if it is being kicked into "the long grass". To build the kernel of HS3, Manchester-Leeds, 44 only miles involving no house house demolition, but a 1:80 hill climb, would create an unavoidable starting point. See

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