Industry welcomes judgement on £85m Manchester rail link

Planning experts have welcomed a High Court judgement approving an £85m rail connection between Manchester’s two main rail hubs.

The Ordsall Chord will connect Piccadilly and Victoria stations as part of the Northern Hub project. It aims to stimulate economic growth by improving connectivity within and between cities across the North of England.

The Ordsall Chord will see four trains per hour run between Victoria and Piccadilly, with two fast trains per hour from Victoria to Liverpool and six between Manchester and Leeds. It will also create new direct services between the city centre and Manchester Airport and improve journey times to the North East.

The Northern Hub project has also seen the £44m redevelopment of Manchester Victoria station. The project is estimated to potentially bring over £4bn of wider economic benefits to the North and generate 20-30,000 jobs.

Catherine Fearnhead, real estate partner at Addleshaw Goddard, a law firm, said: “Common sense has prevailed here, as this is obviously a vital link that will mean investment for both Manchester and the Northern Powerhouse.”

Peter Gallagher, Manchester office director at Colliers International, a property services company, said: “Perhaps more important than bricks, mortar and infrastructure is the people. One of the selling points of the Northern Hub is that it improves connectivity to the UK’s biggest university town. Guaranteeing we have homegrown skills to man the engines will attract businesses.”

James Devany, associate director at real estate advisers JLL, said: “Connectivity is key but it’s not simply about HS3 – it’s as much about suburban transport links enabling people to commute in from around cities. Manchester has invested heavily in this and has led the way in making the case for regional transport powers.”

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