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Last week's poll: Proposing HS3

Chancellor George Osborne has suggested that a high-speed rail line should be built connecting Manchester and Leeds, to help redress the current domination of London in the UK economy. What do you think of this proposal?


Would anyone from Manchester admit to wanting to go to Leeds (above) or vice-versa?

Considering the depth of opposition to the plans for HS2, we were surprised by the amount of support shown by the 484 respondents to our poll for the proposed HS3 line linking Leeds and Manchester. The largest proportion of respondents, 29 per cent, thought it a good idea and likely to boost the economies of the UK’s northern cities; while 18 per cent thought it should even take precendence over HS2. Another 11 per cent doubted it would have any economic rebalancing impact but still thought it was a good idea. However, 2 per cent agreed with the most common criticism of the plan — that the current rail link between Manchester and Leeds, with upgrade plans already in place, are sufficient; and 8 per cent thought otther cities should be linked (LIverpool and Manchester were mentioned most often in comments). while 9 per cent declined to pick an option.


Please continue to let us know what you think of this subject, and of the poll results.

Readers' comments (31)

  • Isn't e-mail, video conferencing and phone communication faster than getting to the station and catching a train? I thought we were heading towards the electronic paperless age when the need to travel to actually be somewhere would become irrelevant?

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  • It is, but despite video conferencing having been around for some years now, most people still prefer to do business in person when possible.

  • The current link between Manchester and Leeds, with upgrade plans already in place, is sufficient; the money would be better spent on improving local transport infrastructure in both cities, which would have a disproportionately greater benefit, in my opinion.

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  • I currently feel that major northern cities need connecting up and there need to be serious investment in building new branch lines. Hull and East Yorkshire where I live is cutoff from the rest of Yorkshire. We need at least the Beverley to York line building to link us up.

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  • The road and rail links are excellent between Manchester and Leeds. It is North of Leeds where the problems lie. The A1 is a dangerous road in serious need of an upgrade. There are already good links from all of the major cities through the West Coast line and various modern motorways. The east/North east need the investment.

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  • Whilst I do agree that something must be done give the major cities of this county independent identity to aid their development and prosperity, as exists other civilized countries.
    Also to prevent London sucking the remaining life from the rest of the country.
    I don't think that Georgie has quite grasped the concept of "high speed rail" which is to transport people and goods over large distances in a relatively short time.
    Unless they have moved Manchester and Leeds are 40 miles apart; no sooner would this HS3 have departed one city than it would have to stop in the next! - think it through Georgie!!
    Also, surely a better idea would be to link Manchester and Liverpool which is not far short of a single sprawl already, and of course Liverpool has a port and I suppose Leeds could be included in that but then there is the language problem.

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  • Totally agree with the contributor above, its complete nonsense unless its in a straight tunnel under the Pennines and they move the cities so they are 200 miles apart. HS3 !! they need to scrap the white elephant thats HS2 first

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  • The chancellors suggestion would be far more credible if it did not look like a vote gathering spoiler prior to next years election. Yes to more and better rail links, no to stunts which only distract from the grotesque imbalances between north and south and north and further north.

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  • This is a good investment - train travel across the north is way too slow.

    It doesn't need to be high speed - 125mph would be transformational.

    I wonder whether whether a York - Liverpool high speed line should replace the Birmingham to Leeds part of HS2. In other words, have a high speed "T" rather than a "Y".

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  • Needs to consider other Towns en-route! Whilst some local service 'improvements' are being planned between Liverpool, Leeds and Hull, sadly us folk in Warrington are being left out. We anticipate a service reduction later this year when the direct service via Leeds is withdrawn and redirected along a different route; from what we can see it will no longer go via Warrington/Birchwood and as a result will add an extra half-hour to our journeys due to changes at Manchester Piccadilly. Warrington and Birchwood have major industry and science centres that provide support to our neighbours - please don't overlook us George!

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  • If the Government truthfully wants to help the North, we should ask them to prove it by building HS2 from the North, downwards, and maybe building HS3 first.

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