Some 50 business leaders and universities have called for Liverpool to receive a high-speed rail link, as a report outlines a ‘compelling’ case for the connection.
An open letter co-ordinated by campaign group 20 Miles More and signed by leading firms in freight, tourism, retail, life science and creative industries has pushed all three main party leaders to commit to ensuring the city receives the link ‘as a matter of urgency’.
Neither the current HS2 proposals or the Transport for the North vision for an east to west HS3 include a commitment to deliver a high speed line into Liverpool.
Major business organisations including the North West Business Leadership Team, FSB, Professional Liverpool have given their backing to the letter, alongside vice chancellors of the city region’s four universities.
Andrew Morris, 20 Miles More chairman, said: ‘These are the businesses and institutions that are forging our future economy. The range of signatures demonstrates the breadth of support for a direct High Speed link to the city and how vitally important this is to our future prosperity and success.
‘Liverpool’s economy has always been based on connectivity and pioneering infrastructure. With the massive investment in the new Post-Panamax port facility we desperately need additional rail capacity and better connectivity in order to handle the projected massive growth in freight.’
The news comes ahead of the publication of a major report from think-tank ResPublica, which is expected to provide a ‘compelling’ economic case for a high-speed rail connection to the city.
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said: ‘I welcome the open letter from 20 Miles More and the business community. It is a timely intervention aimed at ensuring the interests and aspirations of the city are heard during this critically important election campaign.’