THE chief executive of North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce has called for the planned HS2 rail link to be extended into Lancashire.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has promised that HS2 will go ahead as planned following the Conservatives’ victory in the general election.

In a speech in Leeds, Mr McLoughlin said work on the connection between Birmingham and London will commence in 2017, with the Y network — the lines to Leeds and Manchester — following soon after.


While welcoming Mr McLoughlin’s comments, chamber chief executive Babs Murphy said: “I ask the government to reconsider its decision to end the line at Manchester and bring it into Lancashire.

“We have waited a long time for developments on HS2. While it is good news the government plans to finally get going on it, it would be even better for Lancashire if the county was to benefit more directly. The North West does not stop at Manchester.

“Extending the line to Preston would provide a greater connectivity not just to Lancashire but to Cumbria, Scotland and the whole of the North West.”

Mr McLoughlin said: “HS2 will be built — the full Y network, from London to Birmingham and Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds — with construction starting in two years.”