A report published today by law firm by north-west based law firm Brabners says that the Liverpool2 super port – the Port of Liverpool’s new £300m deep-water container terminal – is a bigger opportunity for the region than HS2.
In the North West Ambitions report published by Brabners, Peel Ports CEO Mark Whitworth says Liverpool2 has the potential to create major change in UK distribution activity, attracting manufacturers and logistics businesses to be based in the region.
Mark Whitworth, says: “Liverpool2 is far more important to the region than HS2. The North West is going through a renaissance and the role of Liverpool2 as an international gateway for trade is absolutely vital to that.”
The report goes on to say that there is a risk that without support for better distribution in the North-West, other areas such as the West Midlands might get all the benefits from the existing private investment in Liverpool2.
While it is no surprise that the CEO of Peel Ports is quite keen on more support for ports, the issues he raises are very valid in the case against HS2.
To improve Britain’s competitiveness in the world, what really matters is the ability to import and export with other countries. Moving people around the country, without bringing them in from abroad, may benefit one region over another, but when spending £55 billion of tax payers money, the government should be improving the overall competitiveness of the UK, not improving the prospects of one area at the cost of another area in the UK.
But HS2 has no surface link to the continent: the link to HS1 was formally dropped in November, so dreams of being able to catch a train in Paris and get off in Manchester remain a fantasy.
HS2 Ltd are formally part of ‘Transport for the North’ even though the decision on most of the Phase 2 has been delayed until two years after it was due to be announced. This means that plans that are not reliant on HS2 may be given much lower priority than they would if the board was just concerned with travel in the north.
For more information and to read the report, see here.