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Fears for town's rail link
12:00pm Wednesday 10th October 2012 in News
WARRINGTON should not lose its direct rail link to London even though it appears the town has been left off a list of station calling points.
A report on the impact of the HS2 high speed railway misses out Warrington Bank Quay on the list of stations which a West Cost Mainline train will call at if the new rail network linking London and the West Midlands first is built.
The Demand and Appraisal Report for HS2 Ltd by MVA Consultancy, in association with Mott MacDonald and Atkins has an appendix which lists the stations for the London to Glasgow route if the new route comes into operation.
It lists the calling points for that service as Milton Keynes Central, Crewe, Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme, Penrith, Carlisle, Glasgow Central - leaving Warrington Bank Quay out.
Professor Steven Broomhead, interim chief executive of Warrington Borough Council, said: “We will be talking to HS2 Ltd following the report.
“We were always aware HS2 in 2033 would not directly call at Warrington.
“Now we have seen this report there will be increased passenger demand for the use of rail and there is a massive economic impact on a town like Warrington.”
Warrington South MP David Mowat said he was not aware of any plans to remove the borough’s link.
The Conservative MP who backs the new high speed railway said: “I know of no suggestion which would lead to Warrington Bank Quay losing its services to London – with or without HS2.
“If any such suggestion were put forward, I would vigorously oppose it.
“It is also worth remembering that an independent report has said HS2 will be worth £8billion and 40,000 jobs to the economy of the North of England.”
The report also states that the Birmingham to Glasgow route would remain the same - which could mean Warrington passengers having to change at Birmingham to travel on to the capital.
But the report, published in April, also said the benefits of the service would stretch across the West Coast Main Line and are particularly clustered around stations which will be served by HS2 classic compatible trains including Warrington.