The Institute of Directors has welcomed the Chancellor’s proposal for a high-speed rail link between Manchester and Leeds – but warned it has to extend to Liverpool to fully realise the idea of a northern ‘economic powerhouse’.
Simon Walker, director general of the IoD, said 80 per cent said improving inter-city rail links should be a priority, so the Chancellor’s vision was welcome.
He added: “Infrastructure projects are a means to an end and targeted projects such as this are the vital foundations of genuine and sustainable economic activity.
“Our northern cities have suffered from poor train links for far too long, and we believe this scheme has the potential to bring long-lasting benefits to the country as a whole. It makes sense to extend the high-speed service to Liverpool.
“Any fast line would also need to be complemented by smaller road and rail schemes, building on the work already begun on the Northern Hub. IoD members expect London to be the main winner from HS2, so investment in connectivity is needed to allow great cities like Manchester and Leeds to compete with the South East.”