A top economist has joined the calls for HS3 - a northern East-West high-speed rail connection – to be delivered before HS2, after Labour’s Ed Balls made similar noises last month.
Anatole Kaletsy, who has written for The Times and The Financial Times, said the HS3 link between Liverpool and Hull - which could cut journey times from Manchester to Leeds to just 35 minutes- should be the priority if government is serious about building a northern powerhouse.
Mr Kaletsy said improved connectivity would stimulate ‘the cross-flow of business activity’ throughout the North, the BusinnessDesk,com reports. Just last month Ed Balls appeared to change tack on HS2 and questioned whether the second phase from Birmingham on to Manchester and Leeds should even go ahead.
Mr Balls said: ‘I will want to be discussing how we can improve east-west links. I think that is something we get on with quickly while we ask big questions about the second phase of HS2. Getting on and doing east-west now is the priority.’
Mr Kaletsky also said the debate over new runways in England would be better focused on regional airports, stating the Government should turn regional ‘powerhouses' into self-sufficient economies. He pointed to Manchester as being as a possible future international hub.