HS2

29.05.18

HS2 must be ‘X-shaped’ to bring high-speed services to left-behind regions

Integrating the HS2 project into the national network could help close the UK’s productivity gap with other G7 economies and inject “rocket fuel” into the economy, a new report from Greengauge 21 has said.

The report, ‘Beyond HS2,’ argues that the UK’s rail strategy should have a specific objective of boosting productivity and proposes a transformation of Britain’s railways – from “hub-and-spoke” based focused on London to a fully integrated network that links a set of city-centre ‘hub’ stations.

As well as fully integrating HS2 into the national network, the organisation’s report asks for an upgraded fast route from Birmingham to Bristol Parkway designed to carry HS2 trains, which would then continue to the south west and South Wales – ensuring these areas benefit from high-speed rail.

Greengauge’s proposals would therefore see HS2 turned from its planned ‘Y’ shape into an ‘X,’ with a new connection in the West Midlands leading to HS2 trains operating from Cardiff and Bristol to the Midlands, the north and Scotland.

The report also calls for a major upgrade of the East Coast Main Line for the first time since the 1980s; new high-speed lines in Essex, East Anglia and Scotland, thereby achieving a 3h 15m travel time between Edinburgh and London; new direct rail services to Heathrow and Manchester airports; new east-west connections, bringing together Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Newcastle and Hull as a collective economic unit; and plugging in left-behind places.

Greengauge 21 director, Jim Steer, commented: “Britain lacks a long-term national railway strategy beyond HS2. We need a plan to put rocket fuel into our economic productivity and today’s report sets out proposals to do so.”

Steer emphasised the importance of ensuring that no region of the UK is “left behind” by making sure the national railway strategy reaches all parts of the country.

He concluded: “What we have published provides a wealth of new analysis on connectivity strengths and weaknesses across the country. It is often said that rail needs a ‘guiding mind’ and we hope this report will show just what can be achieved by being prepared to think strategically.”

Responding, a spokesperson at the DfT said that whilst the department did not agree with all the recommendations in the report, it is still an “important contribution to the debate and underlines the need for HS2.”

They added: “The investment of £55.7bn in HS2 is on top of around £48bn from 2019 in the existing rail network. With Crossrail nearing completion and plans progressing on Northern Powerhouse Rail, we are ensuring the whole country has the connections it needs.”

 You can read the full report here.

 

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Strike news: guards row brings fresh strikes to Northern, South Western called off

19/06/2018Strike news: guards row brings fresh strikes to Northern, South Western called off

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union have walked out in a fresh dispute between the union and Northern Rail over a long-runnin... more >
TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

19/06/2018TOC bosses appear before MPs, blame chaos on infrastructure failures

Bosses from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Northern Rail cited failures in infrastructure being completed in time and last-minute change... more >
Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

19/06/2018Labour to launch no confidence challenge against Grayling

The transport secretary is under fire in parliament today as Labour looks to draft a motion of no confidence in the Commons. The party is us... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed looks at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance health and safety measures on railway construction projects. Advances in technology are starting to transform the way in which the rail network in the UK is managed, operated and maintained.... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

05/06/2018Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

Mark Holmes, head of membership and development at NSAR, describes the current resources available to the rail industry to ensure companies of al... more >
Moving in the right direction

05/06/2018Moving in the right direction

Alex Cropper, head of projects group at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), reports on the exciting progress so far in building the Trafford... more >
Overcoming leaves on the line

05/06/2018Overcoming leaves on the line

Paul Gray, professional lead of engineering R&D at the RSSB, explains how latest research proves using double variable rate sanders on trains... more >
Rail: A woman’s world

18/05/2018Rail: A woman’s world

RTM’s Sacha Rowlands reports from a panel debate where six of the industry’s leading figures convened to discuss the fundamental issu... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >