THE boss behind the controversial £50 billion HS2 line has called for the northern phase to be extended as far as Crewe.
In a report to the Government HS2 chairman David Higgins said the second stage of the development, which connects the line to northern England, should be finished six years earlier - and should stop at Crewe.
The second phase was originally planned to be completed in 2033 seven years after the first phase from Birmingham to London is due to finish.
It casts doubt over the future of a station at Stoke-on-Trent, which will be a relief to Stafford and Stone campaigners who dubbed any such move as negative.
In January Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Mohammed Pervez apologised to Stone Town Council after announcing that it planned to put forward alternative proposals for re-routing the line to Stoke.
Councillor Philip Jones dubbed it “absurd” as it would mean a line cutting right through Stone.
Stafford Borough Council bosses also said a station stop north of Stafford could have a negative impact on Stafford as a rail hub, as well as seriously undermining investment in Stafford as the county town, and in Stone."