AN 'emerging vision' for the Northern Powerhouse rail network includes a new line between Liverpool and the HS2 Manchester spur via Warrington.

Information published in Transport for the North's draft strategic transport plan states that new analysis shows that a service from Liverpool to Manchester Piccadilly, via Warrington and Manchester Airport, could take around 28 minutes, compared to the current fastest service of around 50 minutes between Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool.

A service could also take people from Manchester Airport to Manchester Piccadilly in 10 minutes or less using the HS2 tunnel to the south of Manchester, with services running from Manchester Airport to Liverpool in around 15 minutes via Warrington.

Stephen Joseph, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “We welcome today’s strategic transport plan and its emphasis on rail investment in particular.

“This is long overdue given the decades of under-investment in rail in the north of England which has left passengers with slow and limited services and routes and ageing and unsuitable trains.

“We also welcome the move away from the absurdly expensive and unnecessary Trans-Pennine road tunnel and hope this project can be formally disposed of.

“We now need to see the inter-urban investment in the plan matched by investment in local transport across the region, both in rural as well as urban areas, so that no community is left behind.

“Our hope is that the plan can now provide the north of England with the opportunity to move away from car dependence and towards a genuinely low carbon transport future in which there are real alternatives to the car for getting around.”