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28 January 2013, 11:51
Capital's been told 30 000 jobs will be created in Manchester with the construction of two stops on the high speed rail line to London.
It will also mean a journey from Manchester to the capital will take an hour and eight minutes - an hour less than it takes now.
The cost for the entire project is estimated at around £32.7 billion, with the line to Manchester open by 2032 or 2033.
Stops will be created alongside Piccadilly station and at a new interchange by the M56 between Warburton Green and Davenport Green.
The North West section of the project forms part of Phase 2 and also includes stops in the East Midlands, Sheffield and Leeds.
Phase 1 will see the line built between London and Birmingham, with construction probably starting around 2017.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: "High speed rail is good news for the economy - not just for Greater Manchester but also the wider North.
"Today's announcement isn't just about faster trains. High speed rail will create up to 30,000 station-supported jobs in Manchester and help to drive productivity in the region, bridging the economic gap between the North and the South.
"It will help businesses to connect with one another and improve access to major commercial opportunities, helping the North to prosper and reach its full economic potential - and crucially, it will also release much-needed capacity on the rest of the network for regional and local services and freight traffic.
"While the details of the actual route from Birmingham to Manchester are a matter for High Speed 2 to decide, we've always made the case for high speed trains to stop at Manchester Airport as well as a central Manchester station so we're delighted to see this forming part of the scheme."
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "We see high-speed rail as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the rail network, which will not only tackle the West Coast line's capacity issues - including the lack of capacity for local commuter and freight services - but will unlock the economic potential of the North West and create much-needed jobs.
"We are pleased that the case we have made for stations in both the city centre and the airport has been accepted as we believe this is a crucial ingredient of the proposals. We are confident that we will be able to bring forward a compelling proposition which ensures the delivery of the airport stop.
"The UK is lamentably playing catch-up to our global competitors in our rail transport systems, but it is crucial that we close the gap. Without this link the North West - and Manchester - will be left stranded, unable to compete with the likes of Munich, Milan and Copenhagen who are already well ahead in the high-speed stakes.
"It is commendable that the government has had to foresight to push ahead with these plans against opposition - but the future of the UK's economic success relies on its capacity to compete on a global stage."