In the last few months I’ve been working hard, along with County Councillor Erica Lewis and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Morecambe and Lunesdale Lizzi Collinge to drive the argument for HS2 to stop at Lancaster.
I’m grateful to Lancaster University for hosting the inaugural meeting of local stakeholders who joined me recently to agree our case for Lancaster’s connection to the HS2 network. Those who attended came from the Chamber of Commerce, Business, Lancaster BID, the Fire and Rescue Service, EDF Energy, Morecambe BID, Lancashire County Council, Digital Lancashire, Lancaster City Council, Lancaster Vision, University of Cumbria and the Port of Heysham. We will continue to work together to spell out the compelling case for HS2 to stop at Lancaster.
High Speed 2 is a high-speed railway which, when completed, will directly connect London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester. Scheduled to open in phases between 2026 and 2033, high-speed trains will travel up to 400 km/h on 330 miles of track. Importantly the service will allow for more capacity meaning the days of overcrowding and standing-room-only should become confined to the history books.
At present we are in discussions with the Department for Transport, Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport and Dave Colbert a specialist advisor in Transport Planning at Lancashire County Council. I’ve also met with Transport for the North, the body that brings together the North’s 20 local transport authorities, business leaders, Network Rail, Highways England, and HS2 Ltd. They work with Central Government to enable the North to speak with one voice on the transport infrastructure investment needed to drive transformational growth and rebalance the UK economy.
I will be meeting with the HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani in the near future to push our case. I’ll update you on our progress again shortly.