THE GOVERNMENT have finalised the route that the HS2 link will take as it built over coming years reducing journey times to London by 40 per cent.

It is expected that once built, the link will connect Wigan to the South in under an hour and a half, cutting the current journey time of 2 hours 12 minutes on the West Coast Main Line as opposed to high speed 2.

The route will be ran by specially built trains that are capable of 200mph which will connect with local rail services to the North West and beyond from a purpose built transport hub.

John Sanson, General Manager of the Grand Arcade, Wigan, said that he expects the new link will benefit the area and praises the decision to use the town as a gateway to the North.

He said, “I think the new HS2 link into Wigan will bring a number of benefits for retailers, people that work in the town and shop in the town.”

“We will of course see some people that go to the large conurbations but I think generally it will bring some people in as well as take people out” he continued.

But building Britain’s newest railway won’t be free from disruption, in Greater Manchester, the government must find the money for a 7-and-a-half-mile tunnel which will run under Sale as well as a number of viaducts built at the taxpayers expense.

The transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “The full HS2 route will be a game changer for the country and in particular will improve connectivity between the midlands and the north to boost economic growth.

But some users took to Twitter to express their feelings on train travel in the region,

But many people do want faster trains, a twitter poll asking whether or not HS2 is needed, revealed that the majority said yes (76 per cent) and the rest said no (24 per cent).

The project will cost £42.6 billion in total but will disrupt several villages in the North West as houses and hamlets are due to be demolished.

It isn’t yet known what compensation will be provided for those affected by the development but according to GOV.UK residents have been urged to claim.

It’s part of a second phase which is due to be completed once the link has been constructed between London and the West Midlands.

Phase 1 will need to be completed, linking London to Birmingham before Phase 2 will be built linking the North West on the dedicated line.

By Jim Scott

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