High Speed 3 would be ‘huge boost’ for Kirklees

Coun Andrew Pinnock praised the promised High Speed 3.
Coun Andrew Pinnock praised the promised High Speed 3.
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Councillors have called on the Government to deliver a high speed rail link across the north as soon as possible.

They backed proposals outlined by Chancellor George Osborne in June, saying the move would be a ‘huge boost’ for Kirklees businesses – even if it is a long way off.

The motion, which was proposed by the Lib Dems, was debated during a full meeting of Kirklees Council last week.

No route for the so-called High Speed 3 (HS3) has been indicated but a trans-Pennine route has not been ruled out. Kirklees councillors called for it to run across northern cities from Liverpool to Hull.

Proposing the motion, Coun Andrew Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleck) said: “After years of neglect by successive national governments, we live in hope that this is central government waking up to the economic potential of northern town and cities.”

He said it would “certainly offer more to the UK economy than a quicker link to London.”

The motion also called for infrastructure investment to be matched by greater devolution of economic powers to local authority levels, so areas like Kirklees could make more of their own decisions.

Tory leader Robert Light said: “We do support HS3. We think it’s a really important proposal. The fact that George Osborne as Chancellor is also a North West MP is a great advantage for us and we should not fail to exploit that. My worry is that everyone will think the stop has to be in Leeds. We need look beyond that.”

Kirklees Council chief executive Adrian Lythgo will write to national party leaders stating Kirklees’ support.