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HS2: Manchester to London in just over 60 minutes – what do we think?

Last week, the second phase of the North West and Yorkshire HS2 route was revealed. Once complete in 2033, the £56 billion project will see the rail journey time between Manchester and London cut from 127 minutes to 67 minutes.


Since the HS2 project was first announced, it has received both criticism and support from politicians, businesses, environmental groups and the public.

So what do some members of the Refresh PR team think?

Laura Mashiter: “I welcome the new HS2 route. We need to connect the north with the south more and it will open up further exciting opportunities for businesses in and around Manchester. While it’s great that the links between Manchester and London will be improved, we also need to make sure that links between the north improve to make sure the Northern Powerhouse is as strong and successful as it can be. In this year’s budget, a number of infrastructure announcements were made including HS3, a new road tunnel from Manchester to Sheffield, and completion of a four-lane M62 – and I really hope to see these and more improvements started in the very near future.”

Erin Heywood: “At Refresh we regularly travel between Manchester and London to meet clients, suppliers and partners, as well as attend events, and I personally think two hours for this journey is absolutely fine. To improve the Manchester to London journey, it would be great if some of the peak trains could be more affordable and to make the Wi-Fi more reliable so we could use the time effectively to catch up on work. £56 billion seems a lot of money to improve something that a lot of people wouldn’t really consider a problem in the first place. I think the money being invested in this project could be put to better use in helping the UK economy – in particular healthcare and the NHS.”

Maya Powell: “I think the shorter journey time between London and Manchester will be a good thing for the UK. It will help London be less disconnected with the north and blur the north-south divide. As a recent graduate who has a lot of friends looking for work, I think it’s great that the HS2 railway will help to boost employment opportunities for those in the north who don’t want to move away from home or live in the capital where the cost of living is so much higher. We might also see more London-based companies moving to other parts of the country. I think generally the HS2 will help to rebalance the UK economy and open up employment opportunities, which is a good thing in my eyes.”

Claire Gamble: “On one hand, I think it’s great that we’re investing in a faster, more efficient rail infrastructure which is bound to open up more opportunities for businesses and individuals. However, it’s a huge sum of money to spend on saving an hour on a trip which isn’t that bad in the first place – and this money could be used to improve the wider rail network around the UK. Another potential issue we may see as a result of HS2 is house prices rising in Manchester, as it would become more feasible for people to live further out of the capital but still commute. While it’s an exciting opportunity to be able to work and commute more easily between two major cities, rising costs would be bad news for lots of families in and around Manchester. We’ve already seen prices rise considerably in areas such as Chorlton and Didsbury as more people are moving up from London for jobs in Media City, for example, and this trend could well continue in other parts of the city.”

Laura Holden: “I’m worried the HS2 project will see train fares rise in general all over the UK. As well as paying a premium for the Yorkshire or North West route to and from London, it could result in costs rising for local rail journeys too.  There are a lot of people whose homes and/or businesses will be impacted as a result of the HS2 route and I hope they’ll be reimbursed fairly for the upheaval. Overall, I’d prefer to see the money invested in helping education and the NHS.”

Christy Milmine: “I think HS2 will be good for Manchester. It won’t just open up the north to London, but to the rest of the world too – we’ll have easier access to the Eurostar and the London airports with lots more direct flights than what we currently have access to. It could also lead to a property boom in Manchester and the north as more people could move here from all over the country for the better transport links and infrastructure. I think that’s great if you’ve already bought property in or around Manchester but if you’re trying to get on the property ladder it could become even more of a struggle.”

What do you think of the HS2 high speed rail link? We’d love to hear your opinion!



Tagged with: Construction, Debate, HS2, Lifestyle, Manchester, North West