THE minister of state for transport visited Crewe Railway Station yesterday to see the site of a ‘HS2 superhub’ being proposed by Cheshire East Council.
The visit by Lib Dem peer Baroness Kramer comes ahead of a final decision later this year on the final HS2 route and any additional new stations.
The minister was taken on a tour of the current station as well as the proposed site of the hub, south of the current station.
Leader of the Council Michael Jones said: “We are delighted to have such a key decision-maker come and view our proposed site and it is indeed a strong indication that the merits of the scheme are understood by government.
“We are confident that the Minister will see the strong business case for a HS2 superhub at Crewe, taking into account its strong links with the railway industry and the investments already pouring into Crewe under the All Change for Crewe programme.
“There has been a lot of talk about where an extra HS2 stop should go and it is clear to us - and some of our neighbouring areas - that strategically, Crewe makes sense.
“We would urge neighbouring towns and cities that will also benefit from a Crewe superhub station to back our bid.
“Building a stop at Crewe does not require expensive alterations to the existing line and doesn’t therefore affect the speed of the proposed HS2 line. The Crewe bid simply makes sense.”
Baroness Kramer said she was ‘delighted to visit the site’ and praised the passion of Cheshire East Council Leader Michael Jones and avid HS2 supporter, Pete Waterman, who is a board member of the Warrington and Cheshire Local Enterprise Partnership, who are both spearheading the Crewe superhub bid.
Mathew Conway, director of Crewe-based OSL Rail Limited, added: “Having HS2 in Crewe is the right thing for Crewe and surrounding area.
“It will bring the town back to the forefront of rail in the UK, bringing together small and large organisations and ensuring the prosperity and growth that Crewe so rightly needs and deserves.”
The current preferred route for HS2 does not feature a dedicated new station in Crewe. Instead, new high speed trains would serve the town by leaving the network and joining the existing West Coast Main Line at Basford.