Manchester leaders push for tube station as HS2 bill passes second reading | New

Manchester city leaders have warned that plans for an aerial HS2 station in the city would waste half a million square meters of land for development.

The Bill to create the Crewe-Manchester section of the high-speed train, due for second reading in the House of Commons today, proposes a new six-platform above-ground station in addition to the existing station from Manchester Piccadilly.

But prominent political figures in the city said such a station would sabotage development opportunities and called for an underground station, which they said would provide a better welcome to the city and provide greater flexibility for the future.

Last month the Commons Public Accounts Committee heard from Clive Maxwell, chief executive of the Department for Transport’s high-speed rail group, that an underground station in Piccadilly would have cost an additional £5billion.

This figure has been questioned by politicians in Manchester, including Andy Burnham, who have demanded to know how the figure was arrived at.

Manchester City Council and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority intend to submit a petition opposing elements of the Bill and asking for changes to be considered when it reaches committee.

According to the city council, independent estimates have revealed that almost 500,000m² of prime development land would be lost as a result of an air station, space which it says could have supported around 14,000 jobs.

He also claims construction would be more disruptive and that the concrete viaducts needed to bring trains from Ardwick to the new station would plague parts of the city and sever connections to East Manchester.

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Modeling commissioned from Bechtel by the council and Transport for Greater Manchester indicated that the proposed air station would reach full capacity from day one.

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Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, said the current proposals provide “the wrong solution” for Manchester Piccadilly.

He added: “It’s the wrong solution because it will be at full capacity from day one, it won’t be future proof and it takes away from Manchester City Council’s aspirations to have economic growth around the station.

“We have always supported HS2 and will continue to do so. But the government must reconsider their bids for Manchester Piccadilly or they risk wasting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to step up. »

City Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig said that although the underground option would cost more upfront, it would provide “tremendously more economic and social benefits” over the years.

The council says that by 2050 the economic benefits of the underground option for the wider city region would be £333million a year greater than those provided by the aerial plan.

“HS2, with Manchester as the hub of the north, has the potential to unlock a host of positives for the region and help rebalance the UK economy,” said Craig.

“But if it’s not done properly, we will bear the costs for many decades. It is not too late for the government to engage with us instead of rejecting the case of a metro station out of hand.

In her keynote address to the British Council of Offices conference in Manchester last week, Joanne Roney, Chief Executive of the City Council, said: “We have an opportunity here with HS2 which should add to that ambition for our city. .

“We still have to convince the government to share our vision of what we would like to see at Piccadilly station, to create a globally significant opportunity here for us to remain a connected city and for us to change the face of connection between cities. from the north.”

Meanwhile, HS2 has received planning for two viaducts which will bring the line to Birmingham Curzon Street station.

The Curzon No. 3 Viaduct and the Lawley Middleway Viaduct are part of the Curzon Street station approach area, which is made up of four connected viaducts.

The viaducts are designed by a joint venture of Mott MacDonald and Systra with architect Weston Williamson + Partners. They will be built by a Balfour Beatty/Vinci joint venture.

Bonny J. Streater