High-speed rail route would be major boost for Preston

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A report will show how Preston would benefit from a new high-speed rail route through the country, campaigners have said.

HS2 North West, the regional lobby in support of the route, has said details of the Government’s commitment to build a ‘Y’ route as part of a second phase of development will be published by the end of the month.

It will reveal details of how the route between London and Birmingham will split in the Midlands to link with both the North West and North East.

A spokesman said the work will create a “high-speed spine” running from the Channel Tunnel in Dover, Kent, to the capital and travelling North.

He added: “The West Coast and East Coast Main Lines in order to serve places such as Preston with so-called ‘classic compatible’ trains.

“These can run on both conventional and high-speed line, and, even with only stage 1 of HS2 completed, will reduce journey times to all northern destinations by around half-an-hour.”

It added the £32bn route would generate an estimated £44bn boost to the economy and create up to 44,000 new jobs.

However, plans for the high speed route have created controversy in some areas, with fears it will hit the environment as it will cut through the countryside.