Manchester City Council

Down to the Core

7.15 interview on Radio Manchester this morning following the publication of a report from Volterra commissioned by the English Core Cities which makes very strongly both the economic case for High Speed rail ( HSR ) and the cost case. On cost it demonstrates not only will HSR pay for itself, but that in countries that have had HSR for some time, it already has. Tokyo-Osaka opened in 1964, yes forty seven years ago, and has long paid for itself.

Paris-Lyon opened in 1981 and has also paid for itself, and the new high speed lines in Spain are the only profitable part of the Spanish rail network. Again, on economic development and job creation, as well as forecasting what would happen to Manchester as a result of HSR ( 60,000 jobs in the city, a quarter of a million in the city-region ), it also looks at what is actually happening on the ground in places where HSR is already in place. The consultation on High Speed 2 closes on Friday but there is still time to get letters and e-mails in supporting what will be vital to Manchester's economic future.

After our monthly Executive meeting I meet with Greg Clark MP, the new Minister for Cities. The ministerial appointment was only announced last week and initially he will be concentrating on the eight English Core Cities and their city-regions. Hopefully this is a welcome sign that government recognises the importance of our major cities as economic generators, and I certainly welcome the opportunity to talk to him so early into his new role about the tools we need in the cities to maximise our ability to create jobs and get local people into those jobs.

There are 6 responses to “Down to the Core ”

  1. Jim Says:

    It would help if you qualified the 60000 and 250,000 jobs assertion with an explanation of the calculation that was done.

  2. Richard Leese Says:

    The full report can be seen at

  3. Jim Says:

    Thanks. Will take a look.

  4. franky Says:

    Rather spending Bm for HS, why not electrify all the railways. Just go to Victoria and see all the smelly diesels. Diesels run on west coast rail because they have to go cross country! First things first!

  5. bernie Says:

    Japans Bullet Train travells at 200mph when ours comes into service it will travel at 180mph its out of date allready

  6. Manchester Bee Says:

    I agree with Franky. It seems the electrification of the current railways isn't being promoted as highly as HSR, when it is probably even more feasible. I appreciate that an HSR project is far more appealing than "mere" electification, but if you and the GMCA are as comitted to the environment and emissions as you have stated in one of your other blogs, then electification has to be a priority before an HSR to London.

    Additionally, I would much prefer to see the Eurostar bypass London and head to Manchester and beyond than merely have a HSR making it quicker to get to London.



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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