Latest Rail News

15.01.19

Council and business leaders issue warning over investment in HS2 plans for the north east

Business leaders and local councils have written to the HS2 chairman calling for urgent investment in the East Coast Main Line (ECML), warning that without money for high-speed rail in the north east, HS2 risks harming the region.

In a joint letter the HS2 chairman Allan Cook, business and political leaders have cautioned that significant investment is needed across the ECML to make it “HS2-ready” in order to allow high-speed trains to reach the north east and beyond to Scotland.

They want a single plan developed to upgrade the mainline between York and Newcastle so it’s prepared for HS2 by 2033, which is when the £56bn project is expected to reach Yorkshire and the east of England.

The letter comes from the North East Joint Transport Committee, which is responsible for Tyne and Wear, Durham and Northumberland, and from the local enterprise partnership alongside local council leaders.

They stress that the government needs to commit to funding high-speed rail or risk creating new economical barriers that will hold the region back.

The potential for further government investment is not known, but HS2 has been driving up costs already and risks falling behind schedule, leading to chief executive Sir Terry Morgan resigning from his role amid controversy surrounding another of the government’s major rail projects, Crossrail.

Yesterday it was revealed the new HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston had said that train speeds and the number of services could be reduced in order to keep the project within budget and schedule.

In the letter, the leader of Gateshead Council and chair of the transport committee Martin Gannon said: “HS2 has the potential to either help the north east’s fragile economy to develop and grow through significant investment and transformed rail links, or to create new barriers that will hold the north east back while other parts of the country benefit.

“It is already clear that the government’s commitment to HS2 Phases 1 and 2a, strengthening the economic ties between London, the West Midlands and north west of the country, is encouraging long-term investment in those areas. We urgently need an equivalent commitment to HS2 Phase 2b to give similar confidence to the east of the country. This will add the East Midlands and Yorkshire to the list of beneficiaries.”

He stated this could be accomplished by major investment, and said: “We are calling upon HS2 Ltd, the government, Network Rail and Transport for the North to all work together to produce credible, timely and properly funded plans to upgrade the East Coast Main Line.”

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 industry Focus

  • 02/11/2019Monica Barbosa: Women In Rail

    Director of business development and communications at Xrail, Monica Barbosa, thinks women are missing out on exciting opportunities because the lack of gender diversity in the rail industry.
  • 01/11/2019The dangers of fatigues

    Working long hours, poor health, too little sleep, a demanding job and more can all make us tired and affect our mental and physical performance – and when we’re fatigued we make more...
View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

18/10/2019NPR, TRU & Fleetwood Mac

Switch up your playlist with the first #WeAreRTM podcast, gain exclusive insight into the leaders running the rail industry their opinions on recent headlines, visions for the future and meet the personalities behind the job titles. It's no... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >