Stoke looks to wrestle HS2 link from Crewe

Stoke-on-Trent and Crewe are to battle it out for inclusion on the HS2 route map, as Stoke city council submits a new report promoting the benefits of building a line through the Potteries.

The council has suggested that an upgraded West Coast main line route from Stoke to Manchester would actually be cheaper, quicker to deliver and more environmentally friendly than building a new dedicated line through Crewe.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council (SOTCC) has submitted a full report outlining its strategy in response to HS2′s Phase 2 consultation.

The report includes artist impressions of a ‘Stoke International’ HS2 station.

As well as reducing the overall cost of building HS2 by £5 billion, the report claims that creating a high-speed rail link in Stoke would double the size of the city’s economy.

Journey times would also be improved, according to SOTCC, with the London to Manchester leg of the route cut from 1h 40 to 1h 28.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Mohammed Pervez said: “The central challenge laid down by the HS2 Taskforce is to use the enhanced connectivity which high speed rail offers to help rebalance the economy by dramatically shortening the distance between suppliers and regional, national and international markets.

“We know that our proposal will do that, but it will also go much further. Creating an international high speed rail station in Stoke-on-Trent is an important step in terms of national economic rebalancing because of our city’s strategic position and its vast potential for expansion.”

Pervez added: “HS2 needs to serve the regional economies, not bypass them. The improved regional, national and international connectivity will supercharge economic growth in our city and the wider region.”