Council leader says Calder Valley electrification should be key part of HS2 improvements

An example of the high speed HS2 train
An example of the high speed HS2 train

Council leader TIm Swift has called for electrification of the Calder Valley line to be a key part of improving rail links.

His comments came as Sir David Higgins, the man in charge of the HS2 high speed rail link, said the line needed to be built faster to reduce links.

HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins proposed an accelerated timetable for the northern, phase two, section of a project which is fiercely championed by some yet bitterly opposed by others.

Launching a report entitled HS2 Plus, Sir David, the former London Olympics guru, also called for a new look at ways of improving connections between phase 2 and the existing railway.

Councillor Swift (Lab, Town) said: “Electrification of Calder Valley Line should be a key part of these improved links.”

Sir David, formerly chief executive of Network Rail, said HS2 was “vital for the future of the country”.

He added: “The cost and impact have to be recognised and acknowledged, but so too do the cost and impact of doing nothing.

“Without HS2, the people of this country will continue to face the failures of our transport system on a daily basis.”

Sir David said the Government should “accelerate phase two as soon as possible”.

The current whole-line cost, including contingencies, is £42.6 billion, with £7.5 billion for the trains.