By Jonathan Davies
Liverpool would be the natural starting place for HS3, according to 20 Miles More, the independent campaign group that kick-started the city's big for a HS2 link.
The group's comments come after a report by published yesterday (Monday) by Sir David Higgins, the chair of the HS2 project, which backed plans for an East-West link between Manchester and Leeds, dubbed 'HS3'.
Andrew Morris, chair of the business-led 20 Miles More campaign, said:
"We were not entirely surprised that there were no new announcements about a potential HS2 link to Liverpool in the announcement. But the proposals for a so-called HS3 East-Est link are frankly disappointing.
"We very much agree with the view expressed by Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson that the idea that Livepool might not even be part of this investment would be shocking and illogical."
20 Miles More is due to publish its own report advocating a comprehensive HS3 line starting with a connection between Liverpool and Manchester.
Martin Sloman, a co-author of the report, said: "In terms of existing passenger demand, proximity and economic links it's a bit of a no-brainer. Liverpool and Manchester are already beginning to function as an embryonic super-city. In terms of population and international connections, via port and airport, they have the critical mass and potential to become a counterweight to London.
"If HS3 is about re-balancing the UK economy then Liverpool should be vital and not peripheral. Today's announcement is in danger of unbalancing our regional economies and consolidating prosperity and investment within a narrow spine rather than across the full breadth of the north."
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