HS2 Stoke Route – Better, cheaper, faster and greener

Stoke on TrentVolterra has central role in developing the stunning business case for HS2 the Stoke Route – which was launched in Westminster on the 15th October.

The Stoke Route has been developed by a partnership of top consultants commissioned by Council to make the case for an HS2 station between Birmingham and Manchester at in the city, the only major conurbation between Birmingham and Manchester.

Our assessment has demonstrated that the Stoke Route would deliver far greater benefits for the regional economy than the alternatives and would be by far the best fit for the Government’s focus on connecting up city economies to maximise economic growth.

The Stoke-on-Trent city region has a population of 470,000 and the development ready brownfield capacity to deliver significant growth. Our analysis indicates that the Stoke Route would generate more jobs, more growth and more impact than the alternatives. In fact, startlingly, while the Stoke Route generates massive opportunities for connecting cities and accelerating the city’s journey into economic independence and prosperity, the emerging Crewe parkway scheme would deliver far less local value and draw growth out of the city – leading to an overall negative impact on the regional economy.

Our work could have significant impacts for the city, the region and the tax payer. Our research shows that the Government would be ill advised if they were to spend £billions more on the highly complex out-of-town Crewe parkway station when the economic returns are dwarfed by the impact of investing in an HS2 hub integrated city-centre investment zone.

The Stoke Route is also connecting the Manchester and West Yorkshire business markets seven years early by 2026, cementing into place East West connectivity in line with the Government’s aspirations for a northern powerhouse economy.

The business case is also supported by a the City’s comprehensive commitment to the strategic development of the city, including the development of the new business district in the city centre adjacent to the proposed HS2 station, linked into the city’s thriving University Quarter and knowledge economy, a comprehensive package of new urban and regional transport links, and the full support of the Stoke-on-Trent Local Enterprise Partnership and the Chambers of Commerce.

We have benchmarked our forecast impacts against real world HSR examples and against other forecasts of HS2 development impacts, to provide reassurance on the scale of growth and the timeframe over which that can be delivered. The role of HS2 is to link the big UK cities together, particularly city centre to city centre. An alignment via Stoke-on-Trent will do that better than either of the alternatives.

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Image: 221128 – Stoke-on-Trent by Mikey licensed under CC BY 2.0 


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e: aobyrne@volterra.co.uk
t: +44 020 8878 6333

Alex O’Byrne, Associate at Volterra, is an experienced economic consultant specialising in economic, health and social impact, economic strategy, project appraisal and socio-economic planning matters.

Alex has led the socio-economic and health assessments of some of the most high profile developments across the UK, including Battersea Power Station, Olympia London, London Resort, MSG Sphere and Westfield. He has significant experience inputting to EIAs and s106 discussions as well as drafting economic statements, employment and skills strategies and affordable workspace strategies.

Alex is also experienced at economic appraisal for infrastructure. He was project manager of the economic appraisal for the City Centre to Mangere Light Rail in Auckland. He also led the economic and financial appraisals of the third tranche of the Transport Access Program for Transport for New South Wales, in which Alex developed and employed innovative methodological approaches to better capture benefits for individuals with reduced mobility.

He is interested in the limitations of current appraisal methodologies and ways of improving economic and health analysis to ensure it is accessible to as many people as possible. To this end, Alex recognises the importance of transparent and simple to understand analysis and ensuring all work is supported by a robust narrative.

Alex holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics from the University of Manchester and he was a member of the first cohort of the Mayor’s Infrastructure Young Professionals Panel.


Senior Partner

e: eevans@volterra.co.uk
t: +44 020 8878 6333

Ellie is a partner at Volterra, specialising in the economic impact of developments and proposals, and manages many of the company’s projects on economic impact, regeneration, transport and development.

With thirteen years experience at Volterra delivering high quality projects to clients across the public and private sector, Ellie has expertise in developing methods of estimating economic impact where complex issues exist with regards to deadweight, displacement and additionality.

Ellie has significant experience in estimating the economic impact across all types of property development including residential, leisure, office and mixed use schemes.

Project management of recent high profile schemes include the luxury hotel London Peninsula, Battersea Power Station and the Nova scheme at London Victoria. Ellie has also led studies across the country estimating the economic and regeneration impact of proposed transport investments, including studies on HS2 and Crossrail.

Ellie holds a degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Cambridge.