Statement on HS2 Announcement

Following the announcement last week that the Leeds leg of HS2 was to be scrapped, Luke Rumney, BDM at architectural design practice, ArchiPhonic, said: “The recent announcement about HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) has been extremely disappointing and shows little commitment to the ‘levelling up’ agenda from the Government.

“The current plan for the north now focuses mainly on ‘improvements’ to existing routes, with slightly shorter journey times only coming after significant disruption for commuters and freight services. It is not the plan we were sold nor is it the one that businesses and industries across the north have been investing in preparation for.

“There is no doubt that business and political leaders across the North West and North East are united in their anger and frustration. While the door should remain open for the Government to rethink and review the current rail plan, our energies now should be directed towards collaboration across the whole of the north.

“With the Liverpool City Region in particular, it is important that we don’t forget how far we have come over the past decade. In 2019, Liverpool was ranked fourth in a report identifying the UK’s best cities for economic growth potential. Earlier this year we were granted Freeport status, which could attract £800 million investment and potentially create 14,000 direct and indirect jobs. Even the loss of UNESCO World Heritage Status provides opportunity for regeneration, allowing the city to evolve, while maintaining sites of historical importance. 

“We have been growing and evolving for years, without HS2 and we will continue to do so by working collaboratively with other northern Power Towns and Cities – Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham and Leeds – to develop our collective potential and continue building the Northern Powerhouse.”