16 October, etc.venues Monument
30 October, JW Marriott Grosvenor House
1st November 2023, etc.venues County Hall
THE NORTH WEST RAIL CAMPAIGN protest group has called on the main political parties to make a pre-election pledge to eliminate the notorious 'Manchester Hub' bottleneck which, they say, is hampering economic growth. Many north of England rail services are channelled through an area around Manchester's Piccadilly station, creating a bottleneck which affects journeys as far afield as Sheffield and Newcastle.
Campaign director, Roger Jones, says: "It will be impossible for the cities of the north to reach their economic potential if they continue to be hampered by rail services that, in the case of Liverpool to Manchester, are slower than they were 100 years ago."
Although Network Rail is due early next year to produce a report identifying potential solutions, the campaign group wants politicians to commit - in their election manifestos - to the necessary investment.
"The development of high-speed rail is generating a lot of interest and is to be welcomed, but could be at least 20 years before it reaches the north west," says Jones. "We need to ensure that there is investment in the hub problem before then. It is impossible to consider a high-speed, high-quality rail service to Manchester and beyond if access through the city continues to be inadequate."