LEGISLATION for a high speed rail line which will cut journey times from Liverpool to London was announced today.
The £32.7bn High Speed 2 (HS2) rail line, announced earlier this year, will not extend to Merseyside but the government insists it will bring benefits to the region.
Yesterday transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced plans to introduce a Paving Bill – giving the government financial powers to move faster on the construction design.
The bill will also specify when the 351-mile track will be built.
The line will be routed to London through Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
Commuters from Liverpool will travel from Lime Street at normal speeds until reaching Crewe where they will benefit from the high-speed network.
That would cut Liverpool to London journey times to 1hr 36 mins – 32 minutes faster than current services on the West Coast Mainline.
Mr McLoughlin said: “High speed rail is an engine for growth that will help drive regional regeneration, secure economic prosperity across Britain and support tens of thousands of jobs.
“It is vital we press ahead with delivering this crucial project as quickly as possible.
“Introducing a Paving Bill will allow Parliament to make a clear commitment to high speed rail.
“Crucially, it will also give us the spending powers much sooner that will enable us to get moving on the detailed design work for the scheme.