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Government cancels HS2 Manchester link but offers tentative hope with ‘Network North’ plan

The government has announced additional investment in northern transport after deciding to cancel the northern link of the HS2 rail project.

The so-called ‘Network North’ scheme promises up to £36 billion worth of investment to improve road and rail connectivity across the North and Midlands.

Paul Cherpeau, chief executive of Liverpool Chamber, said:

“Businesses in the Liverpool City Region need certainty and connectivity to make investment decisions; the stop-start nature of the HS2 process and the shambolic approach to levelling-up has provided neither. A high-speed link between Birmingham and London certainly offers zero impetus to their ambitions.

“We are keen to hear more details of the newly-announced investment in the so-called Network North scheme and we welcome the news that the existing investment between Liverpool and Manchester is to be protected.

“While no infrastructure plan should be given a blank cheque, a city region the size of Liverpool requires a world-class transport network to improve connectivity with all corners of the UK and beyond.

“Business owners want to know that the government has a coherent plan to improve vital infrastructure that will directly support their businesses through the smoother movement of freight and people. Moreover, they will want to hear a solid commitment from the government that it will actually deliver on these latest investment promises after so many false dawns.”