Government backs HS3 project
Tue 28 Oct 2014
Long-term plans to create a high-speed rail network in the north of England have been unveiled by David Cameron and George Osborne.
A new report by chairman of HS2 Sir David Higgins flagged up the importance of improving east-west connectivity in this part of the country and suggested enhancing the rail infrastructure to make this happen.
The prime minister and chancellor have backed the idea and thrown their weight behind the creation of HS3, which would link the major cities in the north and significantly reduce journey times between these locations.
Mr Cameron said the project would help to create a "northern powerhouse", as well as make sure that HS2 delivers the "maximum economic benefits".
The prime minister also insisted that improving connectivity and cutting journey times between the "great northern cities" is a crucial part of the government's long-term economic plan for the north.
Mr Cameron stated that the HS3 project would help to boost businesses in the area and "create more jobs and security for hard-working people".
The chancellor outlined his vision of creating a northern powerhouse earlier this year and said the backing for HS3 means the plan is "rapidly taking shape".
Mr Osborne described Sir David's report as a "big step forward" in delivering better transport links between the north and south of England and across the Pennines.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin added that cities in the north of England are "on the brink of an economic transformation".
He described HS2 as a crucial component in making this happen, but said it is only by improving connections between the east and west of the region that the full benefits can be unlocked.
According to Sir David's report, creating an HS3 network would lead to journey times between Leeds and Manchester falling from approximately 55 minutes to between 26 and 34 minutes.
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