Bishop James urges government to include Liverpool in their HS2 scheme

Bishop James has urged the government to include Liverpool in their plans for the HS2.

The Bishop of Liverpool has urged the government to include Liverpool in their plans for the HS2.

Speaking in a House of Lords debate the Bishop said, “Without an HS2 spur to Liverpool, it is difficult to imagine how Liverpool will in future be able to bid successfully for such national and international business.”

Full transcript:


The Lord Bishop of Liverpool:  My Lords, yesterday I was at the launch of the International Festival for Business 2014, which will be held in the United Kingdom. The host city will be Liverpool. The Prime Minister was in the city in January, promoting the festival. He said: “The United Kingdom is in a global race with a fight to win contracts around the world”. If that is true of the UK, it is also true of Liverpool.

Business leaders in the Liverpool city region are very supportive of the Government’s HS2 scheme. However, they strongly urge the Government to include Liverpool in their plans. There is genuine anxiety that, without an HS2 spur, Liverpool will lose out to other northern cities.

The chair of the local enterprise partnership, Robert Hough, has said: “It is a question of the competitiveness of the city region. It is critical. Our case … has to be properly argued. It is an investment that will endure many decades. If we are disadvantaged now, it becomes a virtually permanent state”.

Without an HS2 spur to Liverpool, it is difficult to imagine how Liverpool will in future be able to bid successfully for such national and international business. I would be grateful, therefore, if the Minister, when he responds, could say whether the Government would reconsider an HS2 spur into Liverpool; without it, we fear a downgrading of the city with impacts on inward investment and regeneration.