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Funding row over Maglev rail study

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Regional development organisation the Mersey Partnership has denied granting a consortium funding for a feasibility study for the construction of a high-speed rail service.

UK Ultraspeed is working with the partnership on the possibility of using a magnetic levitation (Maglev) rail system to connect Liverpool and Manchester in 10 minutes using carriages which travel up to 311mph, as part of its overall vision for a transport network linking the major city regions from London to Scotland.

Glasgow and Edinburgh City Councils have already given their backing to a 12-15 minute Maglev link between their two cities, and pledged cash for a feasibility study.

And UK Ultraspeed praised a funding commitment from the Mersyside Partnership. “I salute the vision of the Mersey Partnership in committing public sector resources alongside the very substantial private sector investment that we ourselves have brought to the table," its chief executive Alan James said.

Partnership denies funding

But the Mersey Partnership has denied it has pledged cash. It said: "We're not a funding agency so we can't get them any money. We're very supportive of the project, but we won't be funding it.

"We're working with UK Ultraspeed to help them identify funding sources such as from regional development agencies."

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