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North West 'Nimbys' must not be allowed to delay new high speed rail line
1:13pm Monday 28th January 2013 in News
A WIRRAL Euro MP is warning North West "Nimbys" must not be allowed to delay construction of a multi-billion pound high speed rail line.
Chris Davies' call came as the routes of high-speed rail links to cities in the north of England were unveiled, in a move Prime Minister David Cameron said would boost Britain's stagnant economy.
Included in the scheme is a "dedicated link" alongside the high-speed line at Crewe to link up with standard trains - reducing journey times to Liverpool and Glasgow.
The project has been welcomed by many civic and business leaders in the region but the first tranche proved controversial, especially in Tory heartlands which will be affected, infuriating MPs and campaigners.
Liberal Democrat MEP Mr Davies said: "There is nothing new about people protesting against railway construction.
"Plans for the Liverpool and Manchester line were criticised nearly 200 years ago as 'the most absurd scheme that ever entered into the head of a man'.
"Yet the opening of the line in 1830 inspired railway building across the world.
"The North West is in danger now of being left behind. Europe has built 3,000 miles of high speed rail line but only 70 miles from London to the Channel Tunnel are in Britain.”
Extending the already-planned London to Birmingham "HS2" line as far as Manchester and Leeds is designed to cut journey times, ease overcrowding and boost regional business.
Officials say the £32.7bn project will create at least 100,000 jobs but the Government is braced for a fresh backlash from communities through which the line will pass and some controversy over the chosen location of stations.
The Department for Transport said there would be five stops on the 211-mile extension northwards from Birmingham - scheduled to be completed in 2032, six years after the first phase.
They are: Manchester - alongside the existing Piccadilly station; Manchester Airport - interchange by the M56 between Warburton Green and Davenport Green; in the East Midlands - at Toton, between Nottingham and Derby and one mile from the M1; Sheffield - at Meadowhall shopping centre and Leeds - at New Lane in the South bank area connected to the main station by walkway.
The derogatory term "Nimby" - standing for "Not In My Back Yard" - was popularised in the mid-1980s by Thatcherite environment secretary the late-Nicholas Ridley.