Statement on the granting of Royal Assent for Phase 2a of HS2

Lancaster City Council has welcomed the granting of Royal Assent for Phase 2a of High Speed Two (HS2).

Lancaster Railway Station

Lancaster Railway Station

But the city council’s support is strongly caveated on the proviso that the Government can give assurances that there will remain fast, direct (no change) London to Lancaster services through all of the different phases of the HS2 Programme.

Councillor Dr Erica Lewis, leader of Lancaster City Council, has now urged Government ministers to provide this reassurance and make good on their promise of levelling up the regions.

She said: “We have the potential to improve rail capacity and deliver mass travel with lower carbon emissions than passenger cars and domestic air travel.

“However, the delivery of faster trains that require a change at Preston, as opposed to current direct London services, would not be interpreted as beneficial by many passengers within our district. 

“The loss of direct London services would only serve to damage our local economy, thus harming the Government’s vision of a rebalanced United Kingdom and a thriving northern powerhouse. 

“It is essential for our communities that Lancaster serves as a primary stopping station for HS2 trains so our businesses, organisations, and residents can reap the social and economic advantages that the programme claims to bring.”

Last updated: 12 February 2021