Plans for a new 100mph hourly train service between Chester and Manchester will ensure the city is a key part of the Northern Powerhouse.
Chester councillor Brian Clarke, cabinet member for economic development, growth and infrastructure and Phil Mayall, developer director at Muse Developments, which is behind the new £100m business quarter next to Chester Railway Station, praised the plans for the improved Arriva service by 2017.
Phil Mayall said: “This is fantastic news for business in Chester as it boosts the city’s transport connectivity further and will ensure the city is firmly connected to the Northern Powerhouse. The first part of Chester’s Central Business Quarter is launching in January – One City Place, a six-storey office building literally on the doorstep of Chester Railway Station – and so the news about the improved rail service to Manchester will no doubt be hugely welcomed by commuters.”
Speaking following the announcement, Cllr Clarke said: “Improved rail services will have a really positive impact in Cheshire West and Chester. When Chester is only two hours away from London by train, reducing the journey time to Manchester will make a big difference to thousands of commuters.
“Better connections will have benefits for new developments like City Place and will ensure that the borough is an easily accessible part of the Northern Powerhouse. This new standard of rail transport will be good for business and leisure travellers.”
Phil added: “By 2028, it is planned that City Place will offer up to 440,000 square feet of state-of-the art office space housed within seven office blocks, creating around 3,500 jobs, so the improved rail links will be a huge boost for City Place and the city of Chester.”
Arriva was named as the successful bidder for the Northern franchise on December 9th 2015. The plans also include new carriages and Wi-Fi throughout.