Fifty Liverpool business leaders and vice chancellors have called for the political parties to commit direct High Speed Rail link for the city, suggesting it is an economic priority.
The main political parties have been urged to pledge their support for a high speed rail link in Liverpool, as a matter of urgency, in an open letter.
20 Miles More, the consortium who are leading the agenda for HS2 in Liverpool, believe that this is an important opportunity to influence those that will be governing the UK and making the vital decisions.
The move does not simply represent shaving a few minutes off journey times to the capital and key UK cities, but provides Liverpool the potential to become an increasingly peripheral branch-line destination, whilst maintaining a major economic centre.
The open letter has been signed by leading companies in the freight, professional service, life science, tourism, retail and creative industries sectors along with Universities and major business organisations including the North West Business Leadership Team, FSB, Professional Liverpool, Liverpool BID Company and Downtown Liverpool in Business.
Those who have put their name in support of the movement are Professor Nigel Weatherill – Vice Chancellor Liverpool John Moores University, Dave Pichilingi – CEO Sound City and Bob Prattey – Chief Executive ACC Liverpool.
20 Miles More chairman Andrew Morris commented:
“These are the businesses and institutions that are forging our future economy. The range of signatures demonstrates the breadth of support for a direct High Speed link to the city and how vitally important this is to our future prosperity and success.
“Liverpool’s economy has always been based on connectivity and pioneering infrastructure. With the massive investment in the new Post-Panamax port facility we desperately need additional rail capacity and better connectivity in order to handle the projected massive growth in freight.”
It is important that the business and economic case is heard, 20 Miles More state, believing that the political parties also need to be challenged during the election on their commitment to the city with regards to this key economic investment.
All the parties have been underlining their commitment to economic re-balancing and releasing the potential of Northern cities but the issue has not yet surfaced in the General Election Campaign.
The open letter and the High Speed appeal have also been welcomed by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson. He commented:
“I welcome the openlLetter from 20 Miles More and the business community. It is a timely intervention aimed at ensuring the interests and aspirations of the city are heard during this critically important election campaign.”