Manchester Airport seeks to maximise HS2 benefits
Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group, has met with Mark Thurston, chief executive of HS2, to discuss the potential for the new train line to boost the northern economy.
Key to discussions was a progress report on the development of the line to Manchester and the proposed station at the airport.
During the discussion, the two leaders talked about the potential for a new station at Manchester Airport to bring together HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail services to help spread the benefits of high-speed rail connectivity across the north of England.
They also discussed how to maximise the potential for economic growth that HS2 brings, connecting the north and south of the country quicker and with more passenger capacity.
In particular, MAG would like see work on the northern leg of HS2 accelerated, to allow the benefits of better connectivity in the north to be felt much sooner.
Cornish said: “The positive discussions we’ve had demonstrate the benefits we all see of having improved rail links to the north.
“A hub station at Manchester Airport will be vital, helping us expand further our network of international routes, which connect people and businesses to destinations all over the world, attracting inward investment to the northern and UK economy.
“What we need to talk about now is how we’re going to ensure this HS2 line will link up with Northern Powerhouse Rail to ensure the whole of the north can benefit, of which the Manchester to Leeds line announced by the prime minister a couple of weeks ago is just the start.”
Both HS2 and MAG recognise that providing quicker and easier access from across the UK to the country’s third largest airport will bring huge benefits for millions of business and leisure passengers and enable them to take advantage of an expanding network of global connections.
The station would also serve the wider north-west, providing people working and living in the area with access to high-speed rail services across the region and to London, without having to travel to Manchester Piccadilly first.
Thurston added: “HS2 is a once in a generation opportunity to better connect the north to the Midlands and bring Britain together.
“By building HS2, we move intercity trains on to our new railway enabling more local commuter trains to run across the region.
“Our trains, which will stop at the new Manchester Airport station will be quicker, more reliable and allow more passengers across the country to use the Airport.
“HS2 also has a crucial role in delivering Northern Powerhouse Rail’s plans and will act as the backbone for the integrated rail network the north deserves.
“We will build the infrastructure needed to enable faster and more frequent services between Liverpool, Manchester Airport and Manchester.”
Phase One of HS2, between the West Midlands and London is scheduled to be completed by 2026, with plans to extend to Crewe by 2027 and to Leeds and Manchester by 2033.
Works on the first phase of HS2 are already well underway at over 250 work locations.