'HS3' would slash journey times by half

Train journey times between northern English cities could be slashed by half after ministers backed plans for a third high-speed rail line in the north, known as HS3.

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HS3 could slash journey times - at a price

A new high-speed rail link across the Pennines - dubbed "HS3" - could slash journey times for commuters between cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Hull.

However, the idea would saddle taxpayers with a bill for £7bn.

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills reports:

Cameron: 'HS3' is about connectivity in the north

David Cameron said a third high-speed rail line in the north, known as HS3, was about "connectivity" not just faster journey times.

"It's recognising that if we link up the great cities of the north of England they could become a northern powerhouse to rival the dominance of London," the Prime Minister said.

He added: "It's a fundamental rebalancing, it's part of our long-term economic plan and we're only able to do it because we've got a successful, growing economy."


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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
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'HS3 key to creating Northern jobs'

Plans for another high speed rail link dubbed 'HS3' is the key to creating Northern jobs and growth says a Manchester MP.

Lib Dem's member for South Manchester John Leech has called on the government to implement the Higgins report on HS3 on the same timetable as HS2 plans.

The report, published today, calls for a HS3 scheme to connect the north’s great cities, cutting journey times, boosting businesses and create more jobs and security for people in the north. The journey between Manchester and Leeds could be cut from 55 minutes now to between 26 and 34 minutes.

Read more here.

"This report is good news for Manchester jobs and the economy, and I urge the Government to accept it on the same timetable as HS2. I have long argued that Manchester and the north need to maximise the number of jobs and growth it creates from HS2 and this report on HS3 spells out how that is done."

“This is another boost for Manchester, coming on top of the Greater Manchester City Deal which was announced in 2012 and £200m extra funding for local transport schemes.”

– John Leech MP


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

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

'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".

Transport secretary: 'HS2 will benefit UK overall'

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has the development of the HS2 high-speed railway project linking northern cities will "benefit the UK overall".

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