George Osborne backs One North £15bn ‘HS3’ rail plans

HS2 high speed 2
HS2 high speed 2
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Chancellor George Osborne has pledged to help make a new multi-billion high-speed rail line between Sheffield and four other northern cities a reality.

A joint One North report developed by city leaders in conjunction with their counterparts in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle has suggested the new line, dubbed HS3, could be up and running by 2030.

It is intended more than £5 billion would be spent on creating the trans-Pennine route, which would allow trains to travel at up to 125mph and cut journey times from Sheffield to Manchester and Leeds to 30 minutes.

The new route proposal forms a key part of £15 billion of suggested transport improvements for the North.

It would also connect to Manchester Airport and ports in the north.

The report said the new route would double rail capacity at peak times for Sheffield passengers.

Mr Osborne said initial options for HS3 will be included in a report on HS2 due out in October. He said he would give a ‘personal commitment’ to support the transport proposals.

“Together we will make a reality of the plan I’ve set out for the Northern Powerhouse,” he said.

“I’m ready to commit new money, new infrastructure, new transport and new science.

The report also suggested the planned HS2 link between Sheffield and Leeds is built ahead of schedule and connected to the rail network.

Under the current timetable, the Sheffield link would be open until the early 2030s.