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The anti Hs2 campaign’s claims that Hs2 will do nothing to help rebalance the economy & help the North were dealt another serious blow today when Manchester airport announced a £1bn expansion plan that is expected to more than double the number of passengers from 23m to 55m by 2050 and create an extra 20,000 jobs at the airport.

Construction Enquirer reports on the plans here:

http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2015/06/02/manchester-airport-rolls-out-1bn-expansion-plan/

Plus, there’s more from the Manchester Evening News here:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-airport-expansion-plan-security-9370929

CE reports that “The dramatic expansion scheme has been prompted by the second phase of HS2 and the Government’s plan to improve east-west rail connections of HS3 as part of the development of a Northern Powerhouse.”

This is good news for the North. It also weakens the case for a third runway in the South-East at either Gatwick or Heathrow as Hs2 will provide a fast connection between Manchester airport and many cities (including London). For example:

Manchester Airport – Birmingham will be cut from 1hr 44 to just 32mins

Manchester Airport – London will be cut from 2hr 24 to just 1hr 03 (quicker than getting to Heathrow on the tube!)

Manchester Airport – Heathrow will be cut from 3hr 24 to just 1hr 18.

In addition, the plans for Hs3 should bring many of the North’s cities within 30mins travelling time from Manchester airport, creating a true regional hub. At the moment many folks (like me) still find it more convenient to travel to Heathrow to catch certain flights. Manchester’s expansion plans should cut this need and also reduce the number of internal connecting flights to/from Heathrow.