|Major rail report is on the right track for Wigan Borough
Plans to turn Wigan Borough into a major transport hub in the heart of the North West could be realised if “HS3” is given the go ahead by Government ministers.
The report, prepared by HS2 Ltd chairman Sir David Higgins, endorses proposals put forward by northern cities for improved east-west links, named HS3, to complement the north-south scheme.
Leader of Wigan Council, Lord Peter Smith has praised the report, which if approved, would see links across the Pennines dramatically improved – aiding Wigan Borough’s ambition to become the transport hub of the North West.
Lord Peter Smith, Chair of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: "Wigan Borough is perfectly positioned to be the North West’s major transport hub and these plans will help us realise that goal.
“Improving transport infrastructure brings significant economic benefits, cutting journey times and increasing connectivity with other regions – ensuring that wealth is spread evenly across the country. HS2 alone is expected to create 43,000 new jobs in the North West alone. HS3 would add to these benefits.
On the subject of HS2, Lord Smith commented:
“I want to see HS2 built and running as quickly as possible because I firmly believe it will bring significant benefits to Wigan Borough, the wider Greater Manchester economy and the North West as a whole.
“Not only will the construction of the network create job opportunities for residents, once the line is up and running it will act as a catalyst for investment into the borough. It will dramatically improve our connectivity, drawing in jobs and economic activity. In addition, it will directly create jobs because there will be a depot in Golborne. The link and this depot are absolutely crucial for Wigan Borough.”
The report has now been submitted to Government and the final decision on the recommendations from Sir David will be made by ministers.