A new vision for rail investment across the North West and North Wales could provide 300,000 new jobs and boost productivity and homebuilding, according to a report set to be launched in the House of Commons today (26 February 2018).
The West and Wales Strategic Rail Prospectus has been created by a collaboration of public and private sector leaders from Cheshire West and Chester, North Wales, Warrington and Cheshire East, and has the backing of Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester.
The document sets out how residents in the area, which has a population of some 2.1 million, would benefit from improved journey times and more frequent services. This in turn would boost economic growth and take cars off the roads.
It calls for investment in the strategic rail hubs of Crewe, Warrington, Manchester Airport and Chester if HS2 is to “fulfil its true potential”, along with improvements across the network to improve connectivity and mobility. In particular, a “proper rail hub” at Crewe is proposed, with five to seven fast trains stopping there every hour.
The prospectus, which is designed to support Transport for the North’s wider plans to transform economic growth, will be launched at an event addressed by secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling; the Welsh Government’s cabinet secretary for economy and transport Ken Skates, and Cheshire West and Chester council leader Samantha Dixon.