Liverpool has launched a campaign to bring the HS2 network to the city.
Campaigners estimate it would bring a £8.3bn boost to the Liverpool economy and warned of the dire consequences if the city misses out on the transport scheme.
HS2 services for London to Manchester Airport will be reduced to 59 minutes, and for Manchester city to one hour eight minutes, whereas without direct high speed rail Liverpool will be one hour and 36 minutes from the capital.
This means investors will automatically choose Manchester over Liverpool, predict Merseyside business community leaders.
Leading the ‘High Speed Rail - Linking Liverpool’ campaign are: Robert Hough, chairman of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership; Cllr Liam Robinson, chairman of Merseytravel; and Cllr Phil Davies, chairman of Liverpool City Region Combined Local Authorities.
Cllr Robinson said: “We’re confident we can make our case. It’s about faster links to generate more jobs for the future good of our economy.
“There are also the historical imperatives. The first intercity passenger and freight railways started from Liverpool in 1830 and were a cornerstone of the North of England being the Empire’s industrial and economic powerhouse.
“In a similar way of economic regeneration in a different age we need that rail revolution again. We’ve a great heritage and a great future, but without it we’d be at a severe disadvantage. ”