Quicker route to HS2 announced
A NEW high-speed rail link could cut journey times for Macclesfield.
Bosses in charge of HS2 – a proposed high speed rail link from Birmingham to Manchester – have announced plans for an extra section of track which could mean Macclesfield Station is more easily connected to the route.
Sir David Higgins, HS2 chairman, recommended on Monday that there should be a connection between HS2 at Handsacre in Staffordshire and the West Coast Main Line at Stafford.
Macclesfield Station is on the West Coast Main Line. ‘Compatible’ trains which are capable of travelling at a standard-speed on the West Coast line as well as at the 250mph high speed could be used along the new connection to Handsacre.
Passengers from Macclesfield would be able to travel to Stafford on the HS2 compatible trains, which would then switch to high speed at Stafford.
Coun Michael Jones, Cheshire East leader, said: “The HS2 link to Stafford is good news for Macclesfield.
“There are two types of train involved in HS2 - HS2 high speed trains and HS2 compatible trains.
“Compatible trains from Macclesfield would run on the West Coast Main Line first then switch into high speed at Stafford.
“It will mean Macclesfield passengers can get to HS2 more quickly so journey times to London will be cut.”
Coun Jones said journey times from Stafford to London could be cut from one hour 20 minutes to around 45 min- utes. He said the Handsacre connection was good for Macclesfield because it doesn’t easily connect by train to Crewe – where it’s proposed there will be a new HS2 ‘super hub’.
Sir David recommended Crewe as the preferred north west hub during his announcements on Monday.
He said he would advise the Government the new station should be built and operational by 2027, five years earlier than expected.
This would cut journey times between Crewe and London to 55 minutes, 35 minutes quicker than at present.
Coun Jones said: “The Crewe HS2 Superhub will produce 64,000 jobs and boost the north west’s economic output by £3.5 billion.
“It will act as a major gateway for the region.”