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Parker to work with Burnham on HS2 northern leg plans

Deniz Huseyin
19 June 2024

West Midland’s new Mayor Richard Parker has pledged to work with Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham on developing an alternative to the scrapped HS2 northern leg.

Burnham had been in talks about the plan with previous Mayor of West Midlands Andy Street, who had been in office since 2017 and was seeking a third term, but was narrowly beaten by Parker in last month’s elections.

Burnham and Street and a private sector group, led by engineering firm Arup, had been drawing up a plan for transport links between Birmingham and Manchester.

Richard Parker told LTT: “I have spoken about this with Andy Burnham and am keen to continue the work on an alternative to HS2. We do need additional rail capacity between Birmingham and Manchester and this is something we are keen to deliver to improve the economic prospects for both our cities.

“However, I do not believe the private sector can go it alone – this will need a future government to underwrite the project and we will be raising this with the government after the election.”

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