The man tasked with reducing the costs of the HS2 high speed rail link to the North has backed a plan to move Manchester to Hertfordshire as the cheapest way of delivering rail connection to the North.
Sir Jeremy Heywood noted that the cost of HS2 was largely due to the amount of land that had to be bought between the termini.
“The logical thing is to reduce the cost by buying less land,” he explained, “and since we plainly can’t move London, the best bet is to shift Manchester. Obviously this can’t be achieved overnight, so we’re implementing a rolling programme of relocating areas of Manchester one at a time.”
The first step will be to move Salford to Elstree. A straw poll of residents in Media City has shown strong support for this move, said Sir Jeremy. In line with the recent rebranding of London Luton Airport and London Oxford Airport, Heathrow Airport will be renamed London Manchester South, with the original Manchester Airport redesignated Manchester North.
“There will be some resistance from dinosaurs,” said Sir Jeremy, “but we have been busy stockpiling black pudding and flat caps in resettlement centres and Sir David Attenborough is advising us on reintroducing feral whippets to Epping Forest.”