The government has announced the release of a new preferred route for the high-speed HS2 rail link that takes the north into account, with the transport secretary promising that the new plans will boost the economy by billions when the HS2 link opens.
High-speed rail links
High-speed links to the north are important for the future planning of the north of England, particularly in Northern Powerhouse cities such as Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield, all of which will have new stations on the HS2 line, according to the government.
The introduction of HS2 to these cities is likely to improve their attractiveness to companies across the country as places that are fantastic to do business in, largely thanks to their newfound ease of access and the relatively low cost of operation in the north as opposed to further south.
And this could have a knock-on effect on the future investment plans of those looking to put their money into residential investment property.
Boosting the local economy
There may not be high-speed trains passing through for a number of years to come yet, but the fact that more businesses, and by extension more skilled professionals, will be moving there as a result means that the north could be a good place to invest in off-plan properties for the rental market with a long-term outlook.
The transport secretary Chris Grayling has revealed that HS2 Phase Two will see routes open between Manchester and Crewe, and Leeds and the West Midlands, opening the high-speed network to most of the north by the end of Phase Two, which will begin operating trains around 2033 if all remains on plan.
Reducing travel times
Mr Grayling said in the preferred routes plan that a number of new HS2 stations will be constructed at Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport, Leeds, and Toton. This is part of a plan to reduce the time it takes to move between cities across the country.
For example, travelers will be able to get between Leeds and Sheffield within just 25 minutes, and between Leeds and Manchester in just 30 minutes, cutting the travel times for each in half.
The time it takes to get from Manchester to Birmingham will also be massively cut, dropping from one hour 28 minutes to 40 minutes on average.
There has been some criticism over the scale of the HS2 plan, with the price tag of £56 billion leaving many people believing that it is far too expensive as a project. However, Mr Grayling has said that the economic benefits it will bring to the newly connected cities will eclipse this price.
“The full HS2 route will be a game-changer for the country that will slash journey times and perhaps most importantly give rail passengers on the existing network thousands of extra seats every day,” the transport secretary added.
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