HS2

10.06.20

High-Speed Rail and Scotland report

High-Speed Rail Group have published their latest report, titled ‘High-Speed Rail and Scotland’, which sets out how travel time between London and Scotland could be cut down to just over three hours.

Through a combination of new high-speed lines and upgrading of existing lines, this would pave the way for a significant reduction of carbon emissions in line with the Scottish Government’s 2045 net zero target, and levelling up the north of England post Covid-19.

‘High-Speed Rail and Scotland’ describes how boosting capacity through linking with HS2 will ensure that the cities, towns and regions along the lines of route can grow and thrive at a time when they need it most, and deliver on the Government’s ambition to level up the country.

In the report it states that within Scottish Government’s 2020 Infrastructure Investment Plan all funded projects are being prioritised against achieving inclusive net zero carbon economy outcomes.

According to the report, the economic rebalancing aim applies strongly to the parts of northern England and southern Scotland that are traversed by the cross-border rail routes. It is believed by authorities across the north of England that HSR is required, and that it can play a key role in meeting projected demand for both freight and passenger travel. They want to see its design and development linked closely to the opportunities in northern England for economic recovery and growth.

Currently, the cross-border routes are operating at their capacity limits. Operational performance reliability is poor as a consequence. Lancaster, on the West Coast Main Line, has the worst on-time train performance in Britain. Despite this, rail demand growth has been very strong. Passenger numbers between Glasgow and London have increased by +120% since 2006; Manchester-Scotland rail travel has increased by 191% and Birmingham-Scotland by 261%, the report says.

Jim Steer, the author of the report, said: “As the UK begins to emerge from Covid-19, the focus on a green recovery is essential. Over the past two months we have all seen the positive impact on air quality and the environment. While we now focus on our economic recovery, we cannot lose sight of the carbon-cutting goals we have set ourselves. As transport is now the largest contributor to the UK’s emissions, the sector has a duty to act quickly and decisively to reduce them.”

To read more of the report click here.

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