The proposed HS2 high-speed rail link would cut the journey from Carlisle to London to two hours and 33 minutes, according to a report published today (Monday, October 31).
Changing Britain: HS2 taking root sets out the benefits that the high-speed link from London to Birmingham and Manchester would bring to northern England.
Although the high-speed line would go no further north than Golborne, south of Wigan, trains from London would be able to join the West Coast Main Line there, dramatically cutting journey times to Lancashire, Cumbria and Scotland.
The projected journey time to Carlisle shaves 42 minutes off the fastest train at present, even allowing for a change at Preston.
The report has been published by David Higgins, chairman of HS2, in collaboration with local authorities, including Carlisle City Council.
He said: "As the Changing Britain: HS2 taking root report proves, it is the inter-regional benefits and early planning from local authorities to harness these, which will transform areas such as Carlisle in the longer term.”
In its Infrastructure Plan, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) ranked rail connectivity as a high priority.
Plans are underway in Carlisle to enhance the station’s role as a transport hub. New businesses, shops and housing form part of The Station Gateway regeneration plan, which, the LEP says, could generate £40m a year for the local economy.
Graham Haywood, Cumbria LEP director, said: “Improved rail connectivity is very important for the economy of Cumbria.
“HS2 will support the delivery of nationally-important energy investments, help our dynamic businesses access important national and international markets and allow more visitors enjoy our world class visitor attractions.”
Work on the first phase of HS2 is scheduled to begin next year, and the line is due to open between London and Birmingham by 2026.
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