For the Board to agree its position in relation to strategic issues associated with the Bill for HS2 Phase 2b.
Lead: Tim Foster
10.1 Members received the report from the Interim Strategy and Programme Director.
10.2 The Chair updated Board on the current position and informed Board that the Chief Executive had received a copy of a letter which Lancashire County Council had sent to the Rail Minister regarding the Golborne Link.
10.3 Members expressed their dissatisfaction on the cancellation of the Golborne Link and raised specific questions about the Crewe Hub as well as the plans for Manchester Piccadilly.
10.4 On the removal of the Golborne link, Cllr Robinson raised concerns that if an appropriate alternative is not identified then this will lead to a bottleneck north of Crewe and hinder both current passenger services and the growth of freight on the West Coast Mainline. Cllr Robinson enquired about the timelines for identifying an alternative proposal and whether that might offer the opportunity to increase capacity.
On this issue Cllr Riley expressed concern that the Government’s decision reinforces the view that Lancashire will fall off the HS2 rail map.
Cllr Edwards opined that written reassurance are needed from Government that HS2 services will serve Wigan, Preston, Lancaster, Cumbria and on to Scotland, as originally planned. He welcomed the review but requested that it take place at pace.
10.5 Mayor Brabin enquired about the terms of reference for the Sheffield to Leeds line which have been promised for the last eight months.
She suggested that the letter to the Secretary of State be made public.
10.6 Cllr Browne stated that the Hybrid Bill needs to deliver the necessary infrastructure to enable enhanced service specifications. He highlighted the fact that due to how HS2 is being built that Crewe will be the only Northern stopping point for the North for a decade. He expressed concern about the lack of commitment from Government to build a multi modal hub station capable of dealing with the capacity of customers that will occur on five to seven trains an hour, however if it is as few as only one to two HS2 trains an hour this will not provide businesses with confidence.
10.7 Cllr Western raised concerns about Manchester Piccadilly station. He was particularly concerned about the nature of the analysis undertaken by HS2 which did not consider the benefits of a fully optimised underground solution. He requested that TfN engage with Transport for Greater Manchester and partners in order undertake an analysis of the HS2 recommendations and then come back to board to discuss a way forward.
10.8 The Chair highlighted paragraph 3.8 of the report and emphasised the relevance of this paragraph to Board with projects the scale of HS2.
10.9 Mr. Nick Bisson addressed concerns raised by Members. On the issue of the Golborne Link, he explained that whilst the Government has yet to respond to the Union Connectivity Review it has decided to remove it from the current HS2 legislation going through the House. He explained that when phase 2a opens he anticipates that services will reach Preston, Lancaster, Carlisle and Glasgow. He ... view the full minutes text for item 10