Chester MP Slams Future Northern Rail Plans

by Jamie Adrankone

Chester MP Slams Future Northern Rail Plans

The Member of Parliament for Chester, Chris Matheson, has strongly criticised the announced plans for rail in the north, and called the cancellation of several major infrastructure upgrades a “damp squib”.

Writing for the Chester Standard, Mr Matheson MP, described the changes to the government’s railway plans as a major disappointment, as the eastern section of the High Speed 2 project has been abandoned, as well as a proposed HS3 project across the Pennines.

He also criticised how businesses, commuters and storage in Chester were seemingly forgotten in the renewed proposals, including proposed electrification of the Crewe to Chester Line and improvements to Chester Railway Station, describing the government’s plans as “broken promises”.

Instead, the Northern Powerhouse rail project will no longer consist of a new line between Manchester and Leeds, but will instead consist of upgrades to the infrastructure currently in place and smaller routes between Leeds and Sheffield and Birmingham to East Midlands Parkway.

This leaves a between the two new routes that would not be part of the high-speed rail network.

Mr Matheson MP also criticised Avanti for not bringing back direct rail links between Chester and London, with just two Avanti West Coast trains to London Euston per day.

The rest of the High Speed 2 project is expected to continue as planned, with the main trunk route travelling from London Euston to a brand new Birmingham Curzon Street station, before splitting towards Crewe, Warrington and Manchester, as well as connecting to the Midland Main Line.

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