POLITICIANS in Crewe have welcomed plans that will HS2 come to Crewe six years earlier than originally planned.
In a report published on Monday, Sir David Higgins said a 43-mile stretch to Crewe should be built by 2027, rather than 2033, to extend the benefits to the north more quickly.
There should also be a road, rail and freight transport hub built at Crewe, where the high-speed railway would meet lines to Liverpool, Chester, the Midlands and Wales.
Clr Michael Jones, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is the right strategic solution – not just for Crewe.
“This is the right solution as Crewe uniquely offers 360-degree connectivity to Wales, the Midlands – including our near neighbour Stoke – the North and beyond to Scotland as well as to the South.
“It would deliver the benefits of HS2 connectivity between north and south – in terms of better services and increased passenger and freight capacity – much sooner.
“Crewe is now firmly on the right track – and we look forward to working with our neighbouring authorities and partners to get the best results for the wider region.”
Edward Timpson, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, said: “I have been working very hard in Westminster to make the case for an HS2 hub station at Crewe, and to speed up the project. Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of state for Transport, is sick of hearing from me about it!
"So to be told that HS2 Limited have now listened and changed their view is simply fantastic. To be told that we could be getting the station six years earlier than planned is even better.
"HS2 will open up south Cheshire to international business, by providing the extra rail capacity and speed from London that we so badly need. This can only mean more jobs for local people.
“But, perhaps most of all, it cements Crewe's position as the gateway to the North West, not only in terms of geography, but also in terms of transport connections. The old saying 'change at Crewe' has never been more apt.”