Cheshire East Councillors are being asked to give their backing for Crewe to bid to become the home of Great British Railways.
In a recent announcement by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, ‘traditional railway towns’ are being asked to put their case forward to develop the new headquarters for Great British Railways– the new, single, accountable public body responsible for running Britain’s railways.
At Cheshire East’s next Council meeting next week, Councillors will be asked to vote in support of a bid after the idea was backed by Cheshire East Conservative Group Leader Cllr Janet Clowes and Opposition Transport spokesperson Cllr Mike Stewart.
Cllr Janet Clowes explains
“This is a unique opportunity for railway towns outside London to bid to be the home of the GBR headquarters and we believe the ‘Case for Crewe’ is compelling!
With its iconic railway history, strategic location as “Gateway to the North” and its valuable ‘hub and spoke’ network links to the north, west and north midlands, as well as London, Crewe is well-placed to accommodate the GBR Headquarters.
Cllr Mike Sewart (Opposition spokesperson: Transport) further explains
“With HS2a and the Hub Station already scheduled to arrive in Crewe, together with the extended freight capacity south of the current station, Crewe is again, well positioned to meet Great British Railways operational brief”.
Dr Kieran Mullan (MP Crewe & Nantwich)
has already met with and written to the Transport Secretary to put forward Crewe as a candidate and is encouraging all Councillors to support the vote next week.
“I look forward to meeting with Cheshire East soon to discuss how the case for Crewe can best be developed. In the wider context of ‘Levelling Up’, HS2, and the regeneration of Crewe, developing a strong case to accommodate the GBR headquarters will bring jobs and other benefits for both Government and the wider Cheshire East Borough.”
Cllr Clowes concludes
“Following conversations with Cllr Craig Browne (Dep. Leader), we welcome the news that the Council is starting to explore bid development. However formal support from elected Councillors next week, will give a clear and unequivocal ‘green light’ for the Council’s infrastructure team to start both preparing the bid and (when the detailed criteria become available), to complete the final draft well within what are expected to be tight deadlines. This is an extraordinary opportunity for Crewe and one we must not miss.”
Notes to editors
A Notice of Motion proposed by Cllrs Janet Clowes and Mike Sewart will be voted on by Councillors on 0th October and requests that:
a) Cheshire East Council engages directly with the Transport Secretary Grant Schapps and prioritises the submission of a competitive bid for Crewe to host the new headquarters for Great British Railways and that
b) Cheshire East Council works alongside Crewe & Nantwich MP Dr Kieran Mullan, together with regional and subregional transport partners, to enhance and strengthen the case for Crewe.