Transport Secretary to examine linking High Speed Rail to York
I welcome the new High Speed Rail route map published by the Government today which shows that the new network will join the East Coast Main Line close to York.
In today’s House of Commons debate, I proposed building new platforms for High Speed trains to stop at York, on the York Central development site next to York station. York would then become a key interchange between High Speed Trains and other rail services.
The Government’s HS2 Y network was first proposed by the Labour Government, and will provide direct, high capacity, high speed rail links between London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, with intermediate stations in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. The network will cut journey times from Sheffield to London by up to an hour and from Leeds to London by 50 minutes.
It is planned that the Birmingham line will open by 2026, and the onward legs to Manchester and Leeds and a connection to Heathrow will open in 2032-33. Journey times to York will also be cut because of the Government’s decision to build a junction south of Leeds to connect high speed trains direct to the East Coast Main Line without stopping first at Leeds.
I support the new High Speed Rail network and welcome the Government’s commitment to the project. I have consistently argued for High Speed rail from London, via cities in the East Midlands – Leicester, Nottingham and Derby, to Sheffield and Leeds before joining the East Coast Main Line south of York. I am pleased that the Government’s proposals will connect to Yorkshire, and intervened in the debate to ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, if she is looking at joining the network in York.
I highlighted that there is space to build additional platforms at York using the York Central development site. The York central site, behind York station, is around two thirds of the size of the area within York’s city walls. It is a huge development site adjacent to the city walls, which provides enormous opportunities for York’s continued economic development. To link the site to the new High Speed Rail network would bring huge economic benefits to the city. The Secretary of State gave a very positive response to my proposal. Our exchange can be read here.
I am pleased the Secretary of State is interested in this proposal and am following the issue up with City of York Council. I will be contacting the Secretary of State in due course.
An article I have written for the Yorkshire Post on High Speed Rail can be read here.