North East welcomes HS3 plans
The North East has warmly welcomed the news that a transport body could be created to develop a high speed rail strategy in the north.
Prime Minister David Cameron gave plans for a high-speed HS3 rail link the in the north the green light after a report by HS2 boss Sir David Higgins.
Mark Stephenson, NECC policy and research manager, said the northern chambers are "united in support" of the idea, despite the North East not being part of the HS3 plan.
Sir David said the project would be as important to the north as Crossrail is for London, but cautioned that it "should only be one step" in an overall strategy to improve transport from Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull.
Stephenson said: "Even though our region is not part of the current proposals, the impact HS2 will have on our members and the ensuing economic uplift this will generate in the North of England will be significant. We welcome any efforts to speed up delivery."
"A new body for the north is something that would not only give us a voice at the decision making table, but also a better platform to make the case that a high speed rail link to Scotland must come through the North East.
"The last significant investment in the UK rail network was more than 100 years ago. Future business success depends on infrastructure networks that meet demand. Rail is no exception."
Penny Marshall, ICE North East regional director, added: "Sir David Higgins’ support for the improved connectivity of northern cities is welcome.
"Clearly, more detail is needed, and it needs to be acknowledged that there is still a lot of England which is north of the M62 corridor which should be considered when planning our future rail infrastructure, but today’s news is positive."
Jeff Pearey, lead director for the North East at JLL, said HS3 should be a "priority infrastructure project" delivered in tandem with HS2.
"The economic case for developing faster connections across the Leeds-Manchester-Liverpool corridor is clear as day and is as important for the north as Crossrail is to the capital.
"When you consider that the distance from Leeds to Manchester is the same as London’s Central line, then the potential for HS3 to unlock growth is significant."