Transport: Cheshire

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:16 am on 5th June 2019.

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Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis Minister of State (Department for Transport) 11:16 am, 5th June 2019

I will come to that in a moment, as I want to talk a little more about HS2. Despite speculation and claims that we should scrap HS2, our commitment to the full HS2 network remains. From 2027, high-speed trains will begin serving Cheshire at Crewe, and the legislative process is under way to extend HS2 to Crewe by 2027—six years earlier than originally planned. For Cheshire, Crewe offers a significant opportunity. We are working actively with local partners to maximise the potential of an HS2 hub at Crewe, both for the wider connectivity to HS2 that that will offer, and for its potential as an agent of change and a significant driver for regeneration and development in and around Crewe, Cheshire and the wider region, including Stoke and Staffordshire.

With Transport for the North we are developing a business case for northern powerhouse rail, and exploring the best options to ensure that the huge economic potential of Warrington and the north Cheshire science corridor is served. Through a £200 million-plus growth deal, we are supporting a significant number of local transport improvements that are vital for people going about their daily business. Those include a new bus station in Chester, bypasses for Congleton, Middlewich and Poynton, and a new highway infrastructure in Crewe, Warrington and Birchwood to alleviate congestion. There is a huge amount of investment. We are also supporting the construction of the new Mersey Gateway crossing, which is the largest local transport scheme in the country and benefits residents of Cheshire, Liverpool city region, and beyond.