Osborne’s “HS3” plans could affect north Kirklees rail lines

Dewsbury, 6th April 2011''Dewsbury Train Station''The gateway to the rest of the World.

Dewsbury, 6th April 2011''Dewsbury Train Station''The gateway to the rest of the World.

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George Osborne has suggested a brand new high-speed rail link, dubbed “HS3”, could pass through Kirklees.

In a speech this week, the Chancellor said upgrading lines between Manchester and Leeds to high speed rail would help the north “take on the world”.

This is likely to involve upgrading the transpennine route, which currently has stops in Dewsbury, Batley, Ravensthorpe and Mirfield, although it is not yet known whether plans would have high speed trains stop at these stations.

West Yorkshire combined authority chair, coun Peter Box, said: “Complementing HS2 by developing an east-west HS3 route connecting major cities across the north would drive economic growth, but we also need to see the types of improvements that our planned £1.6bn WY and York Transport Fund will deliver.

“I was pleased, therefore to hear that Nick Clegg has today backed the WY and York Transport Fund and would welcome any ‘pressure’ he can apply to George Osborne to get the Fund approved and enable us to get on with transport initiatives that will deliver 20,000 new jobs and almost £2.4bn of additional output per year by the mid-2030s.”

In the speech he gave to the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester yesterday, Mr Osborne said: “Today I want us to start thinking about whether to build a new high speed rail connection east-west from Manchester to Leeds. Based on the existing rail route, but speeded up with new tunnels and infrastructure.

“We need a Northern Powerhouse.

“Not one city, but a collection of northern cities - sufficiently close to each other that combined they can take on the world.”

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