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Rail union 'cynical' over HS2/HS3 announcement

"RMT has led the fight for expansion and modernisation of rail services in the north but it is cynical in the extreme that the cheerleaders behind today's announcement, the government and Rail North, are the same bodies threatening to devastate jobs and services through the new Northern and TPE franchises."

"RMT will not tolerate this rank hypocrisy and instead of jam tomorrow, light years off in the future, we are demanding an expansion of services and capacity now , rather than the proposed cuts, and that is the message we will be taking to parliament in our lobby over the northern franchise carve-up on the 4th November. "

– Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary,

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High Speed rail conversation starts on twitter

Sheffield Council leader 'disappointed' over rail news

Following the latest report on HS2 and HS3, Sheffield City Council Leader Julie Dore has expressed her disappointment, claiming the project appears to be centred around speed and not economic growth.

“I said before the report was launched that HS2 was about jobs, growth and return on investment. Whilst it’s welcome that the government are making the right noises about HS2, whether or not it makes the lasting difference in transforming our economy will depend upon the right decisions being taken now."

"For Sheffield, having a city centre station is fundamental to the future of our economy. A city centre station create 6,500 more jobs than a parkway station by allowing Sheffield city centre to connect with not only London but our other leading cities."

– Sheffield City Council Leader Julie Dore

Hull MP: We need to look at the 'here and now'

Hull North MP Diana Johnson said: "Even for those areas not excluded, as Hull is, from the first phase of the planned HS3, it appears that none of this work will happen until well into the 2030s.

Hull North MP Diana Johnson Credit: PA

"In the here and now, rail passengers in the North have been seeing rail fare increases up to 162% and threatened cuts to Transpennine rail services in order for the Coalition to move rolling stock resources to Southern England.

"In Hull, we also want to see the privately financed rail electrification from Selby into Hull done in time for the 2017 City of Culture. At the moment, Hull hasn't even got High Speed One! The HS3 plan from the current Government seems to favour the Manchester-Leeds-Sheffield 'Golden Triangle' that Nick Clegg has talked about - with Hull very much on the outside.

"Under this Government, although Hull people pay their ever-increasing fares and their taxes, it all seems to be jam tomorrow - but jams today."

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  1. National

HS3 more than 'eye catching journey time reductions'

Lord Deighton from the Treasury, John Castle the senior area engineer for London and Sir David Higgins the chief executive of Network Rail, view what will be the site for a new HS2 and Crossrail station, at the Old Common Oak lane site in north west London. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive

Proposals for a "HS3" rail link to improve east-west rail journeys across northern England are more than just about "eye-catching" journey-time reductions, according to the boss of HS2.

The scheme, which could cost around £7 billion, was "not just a single project", said HS2 Ltd chairman Sir David Higgins.

He has put forward the HS3 plans in a report incorporating further plans for phase two of the £50 billion HS2 high-speed rail project.

Backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, HS3 would mean journey times between Leeds and Manchester could almost be cut in half to around 26 minutes.

For phase two of HS2 Sir David's recommendations include:

  • To continue with the planned route into Manchester city centre via the airport - keeping open the option to add a new airport station
  • Need to review the best station solution for Leeds to include provision for increased east-west services through the city
  • The HS2 line should be extended to Crewe by 2027 - six years earlier than originally proposed
  • A new station at Sheffield Meadowhall remains the best way to serve the wider South Yorkshire region, though Sir David recognises Sheffield continues to argue for Sheffield Victoria
  • That the East Midlands hub should be near the proposed site at Toton
  1. National

Lord Prescott 'welcomes' HS3 proposals

Credit: PA Archive

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has welcomed a report proposing a high speed rail link between Leeds and Manchester, but said his party first recommended the plans a decade ago.

The original Northern Way was created by the three Northern Regional Development Agencies in 2004 on my instruction. It was immediately adopted by a Labour government in its report Northern Way: Making It Happen.

Unfortunately, the Northern Way plan, its resources and the Northern Regional Development Agencies were scrapped in one of the first acts of Chancellor Osborne in 2010.

It's taken four years but I'm glad the Government has U-turned to launch its version of the Northern Way, Osborne's Northern Powerhouse.

We eagerly await the promised resources in the Government's upcoming expenditure statement.

Unfortunately, it means the North has missed out on more than four years of lost growth, jobs and prosperity.

Osborne turned Labour's Northern Way into a Tory Northern Delay.

– John Prescott
  1. National

'HS3 could cost more per mile than HS2'

The new rail link could see journey times in the north slashed by more than half. Credit: PA

Ministers who have given the go-ahead for a third high-speed railway link have admitted they do not know how much the new project could cost.

Officials told The Daily Mail it was "too early" to put a figure on it, although the Chancellor previously estimated it would set the government back up to £7 billion.

But there is speculation HS3 could be even more expensive per mile than HS2.

Northern council chiefs have welcomed the announcement, which could see journey times between Manchester and Leeds slashed by more than half from an hour to just 26 minutes.

However, rail protesters claim the government is "throwing good money after bad".

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