High speed rail to Leeds ‘should be built quicker’

SPEEDIER SERVICE: Leeds's leaders are calling for the city's HS2 link to be prioritised.
SPEEDIER SERVICE: Leeds's leaders are calling for the city's HS2 link to be prioritised.
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LEEDS is joining with its northern neighbours to press for the proposed high speed rail line connecting the city with Sheffield to be built sooner.

The move would allow services along the route through Yorkshire to start before the rest of the line to Birmingham and on to London is complete.

It could also form part of a new transpennine high speed rail link speeding up journeys between Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.

The proposal to build the Yorkshire stretch of the HS2 line earlier is expected to feature in a 15 year plan being put together for the Government by Transport for the North (TftN), a new body bringing together councils from Yorkshire, the North West and North-East.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin met TftN to discuss the developing proposals in Leeds yesterday.

Leeds City Council leader Keith Wakefield said: “Making sure that there are better 
links between the northern cities is a policy we should all support.

“But it has got to be more than words. We want to see action, and one of the ways they could convince people, to demonstrate good faith, is starting HS2 earlier with the Leeds to Sheffield link.”

Mr McLoughlin said there was still a lot of work to be done before the route of the second phase of HS2 from Birmingham to Leeds is confirmed.

“I hear the eagerness to get it done quicker and if we can, I’m certainly up for it.”

On the current timetable, services on the new HS2 line to Leeds will begin around 2033 from a new station on the city’s south bank.

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