Luciana Berger, the Liverpool Metro Mayor contender, recently visited the new Liverpool2 container terminal at the Port of Liverpool, ahead of its summer 2016 opening.
Berger said: “With our fantastic new container terminal, it is time to recognise that our future is as a global city region.
“We should judge ourselves not just against Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham or London, but the leading city regions of the world. I will not see our region relegated to the second tier of city regions.”
Liverpool2 is set to be the only west coast terminal in the UK that will be mega-ship ready, capable of taking the new vessels that pass through the recently expanded Panama Canal.
The increase in freight input, however, will require a rail connection that can handle such a volume.
Berger continues: “High Speed 2 is about much more than shaving a few minutes off the travelling time between the North and South. It would move people off the existing rail network and allow it to take on increased freight needs of the Port of Liverpool.
“I have campaigned to make the case for HS2 to come 20 miles more to our region. I will not rest until we start High Speed rail travel here in the Liverpool City Region.”
One of the aims moving forward from Liverpool2 is to have the capability to challenge the south east coast, which sees 90% of imports despite the consumption being highest in the north.
Warren Marshall, Group Planning Director at Peel Ports Group, said: “We were able to showcase the extent of our on-going investments in the region of £750 million [US$983 million], adding to the UK’s trading infrastructure, contributing to the Northern Powerhouse initiative and providing job opportunities throughout the Liverpool city region.
“Improved transport connections by both road and rail are critical to the on-going success of the port in being able to move freight with greater reliability. The creation of new rail freight capability as part of HS2 and HS3 would be welcomed.”
Berger concluded: “Liverpool2 offers the city region a massive opportunity to turn and face outward to the world. That is where our future lies – as a global city region winning business from around the world and bringing jobs and prosperity into the economic heart of the city region.”