Wider pan-regional response to the Crewe Hub Consultation
Delivering the right Crewe Hub is of critical importance to a wide area. Get it right and it can act as a catalyst to unlock significant economic growth for an area of 2.1 million people and containing industries with a world class manufacturing & engineering supply base, home to best in class companies and leaders in high value/lean manufacturing e.g. Airbus, Toyota, JCB, Siemens, Qioptic, and the chosen location for multi-billion pound investment projects e.g. Wylfa Newydd Nuclear, the super-prison HMP Berwyn, Wirral Waters. Get it wrong and it can result in not just missed opportunities but 2.1 million people and key businesses losing direct connection to the UK’s core network and becoming peripheral and marginalised.
The original HS2 proposal offered just 2 trains per hour stopping at Crewe, with other services remaining unchanged. In the latest consultation the Secretary of State acknowledges that a proper hub station could generate significant opportunities – not only for Crewe itself, but also for the surrounding regions. HS2 provides the opportunity to increase capacity on congested railways, improve connections between the biggest cities and regions and support the Industrial Strategy to generate jobs, skills and economic growth. The analysis contained within the latest consultation shows that the option which offers the best value for money is the one in which the Hub has the ability to accommodate 5-7 HS2 stopping trains plus enhanced regional services.
This response aligns with Growth Track 360 and Constellation Partnership and comes from 3 LEPs,
the North Wales Mersey Dee Business Council, the NWMD Cross Border Rail Task force (Growth Track 360) and constituent local authorities, including Shropshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester and Warrington. Collectively they cover over 2.1 million people who would have been no better off under the original proposal and potentially worse off given the reduction in
connectivity to Manchester, the loss of the fastest direct services to Chester and Holyhead and the
loss of direct Warrington to Scotland services. This response, therefore, sets out the full benefits that
would be achieved by enhancing connectivity to HS2 and Crewe Hub. It should be read alongside
the Constellation Partnership response which sets out the growth in the area which would be
achieved as a consequence of 5-7 HS2 trains stopping at Crewe per hour. We would also highlight the work of Midlands Connect in supporting our aspirations and illustrating the wider benefits of what we are seeking.