An underground station to accommodate HS2 in Manchester would deliver economic benefits worth £333m a year more than the current overground plan, new analysis has found.
Manchester City Council is calling on ministers to reconsider plans for a new overground Manchester Piccadilly station, arguing its infrastructure would dominate parts of the city.
It has set out a new plan outlining the benefits of a below-the-surface HS2 station.
The analysis shows that an overground station would result in the loss of almost half a million sq metres worth of prime land, which could have supported around 14,000 jobs.
It concluded that by 2050, the economic benefits of the underground option would be £333m a year greater than the benefits delivered by the overground plan.
Cllr Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council, said: 'The overground plan is the wrong one. It will be cheaper to build in the short term but in the long term it will cost the region’s economy much more in missed opportunities.
'It will also cause greater disruption while it is constructed and leave a legacy of unsightly viaducts and other overground infrastructure which limits our ability to create new homes or jobs.
'Restricting the potential of what will be one of the best-connected places in the country makes no sense at all. Nor does creating a station with capacity restraints which will undermine its reliability and resilience from day one.
'We urge the Government and HS2 Ltd to reconsider the compelling case for an underground station. This would not only solve the problems posed by the overground option but would create a station empowered to support growth, jobs and other opportunities and help realise the Government’s proclaimed levelling up ambitions.'
This article first appeared on our sister website Local Gov.