On 23rd February 2017 Lord Shipley asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to ensure that HS2 will maximise links between cities in the north of England and with Scotland.” The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, currently there is an excellent two-hour direct service at 125 miles an hour between London and the city of Chester. Will being able to get to Manchester—wherever Manchester is—in an hour call into question the current excellent direct service between London and Chester?
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: I believe that Manchester will stay where it is. I look to my noble friend Lady Williams on my right, who knows Manchester very well. This is about being quicker and about improving capacity and connectivity. The building of HS2, along with the plans that are under way with northern powerhouse rail, will address both issues, which is extremely important for people not just in the south and the Midlands, but to the north and indeed for Scotland as well.