The leader of the Manchester City Council spoke at the High Speed Rail (Crewe-Manchester) Bill Select Committee yesterday as the region continued their push for an underground NPR-HS2 station to be built underground at Manchester Piccadilly.
Cllr Bev Craig called on HS2 to revisit the current plans for a surface turnback station and keep an underground station on the table.
The Council, argued that building the right solution at Piccadilly, with an underground through-station, is the most logical approach to delivering on the connectivity potential for all points of the network.
Manchester Piccadilly is currently proposed to be the final destination for HS2 and current plans have the train station extended overground with a six-track viaduct emerging from a tunnel at Ardwick and running to Piccadilly.
The council argue that the proposed overground station would reach full capacity shortly after being built and provide limited options for infrastructure and economic growth.
To support their case, the council has provided some outline designs on how the underground station could look at surface level with the help of CGI images.
Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We are urging the Government to learn from mistakes elsewhere and build the right station for Manchester that will better serve us for the next century.
“Our railway system needs investment now and for the future. HS2 will provide much needed extra capacity on our already congested rail network, improve connections between the north of England, West Midlands and London and act as a catalyst to wider economic growth.
“But the current plan for an overground station that travels into the city on concrete stilts, with limited resilience and likely to be at full capacity from day one, is the wrong one. It might be cheaper in the short-term but this penny-wise, pound-foolish approach will cost the city and the North much more in missed opportunities.”
Support for the council and its argument has come from many local leaders and authorities, including London Chamber of Commerce, Manchester’s Federation of Small Businesses and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.
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