Latest Rail News

21.11.14

High-speed rail can deliver regeneration benefits – ITC

High-speed rail (HSR) can be the cornerstone for a step change in the integration and improvement of regional infrastructure in the UK, according to a new report by the Independent Transport Commission (ITC).

The study – ‘Ambitions and Opportunities: Understanding the Spatial Effects of High Speed Rail’ – stated that in order for HSR to act as a catalyst for economic regeneration there needs to be correct planning and investment in place.

Drawing on best practice from cities and regions connected by HSR in the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, the study examines the regeneration and connectivity benefits of the European HSR network to create a tool-kit for policy makers in the UK’s cities, regions and national government.

The ITC stated that excellent integration of transport systems with HSR can lead to a step-change in the quality of public transport across all modes; long-term planning enables cities and city-regions to capture and shape these positive changes through incremental improvements; and collaboration between central and local government, as well as between the developers and local citizens and civic groups, is essential to delivering this change.

The researchers highlighted that the TGV stations Gare d’Austerlitz and Gare de Lyon in Paris have generated impressive regeneration areas in their vicinity. This is because the planners grasped the importance of having a ‘grand’ strategic vision and developing this incrementally, in order for the redevelopment to adapt over time. They added that a similar approach has been adopted at King’s Cross St Pancras, with the regeneration of a formerly run-down area.

John Worthington, the ITC commissioner and chairman of the HSR working group, said: “Our research on the impacts of HSR in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, has shown that, far from being a white elephant, there are very many examples where investment in HSR has been the catalyst for significant urban and regional renewal.

“This has happened when HSR has been properly integrated with the local transport network, when co-operation has been strong between all interest groups, and when cities have planned ahead and understood that regeneration is a long-term process.”

The report comes as the government attempts to strengthen its case for HS2. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that the “hugely positive impact” of projects across Europe shows that the government’s transformational ambitions are achievable if everyone works together and plans ahead.

“We have made great progress in encouraging towns and cities across the country to get ready to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity HS2 presents,” he added.

The ITC also welcomes the government’s recent announcement of the creation of Transport for the North, a new body bringing together representatives of major cities to create a proper regional transport network.

It stated: “The proposition by Sir David Higgins for a Transport for the North forum is a good start. We would also encourage building on the Core Cities and Key Cities networks and interlinking these. There is also a potential for LEPs to work together across boundaries to create such forums.

Sir David, chairman of HS2, added that the report sets out in clear detail, not just the very tangible benefits high-speed rail has brought to cities and their regions throughout Europe, but also the sustained focus, commitment and collaboration between central and local government necessary to maximise those benefits.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Graham Nalty   21/11/2014 at 22:41

The problem for HS2 is that only one station on the whole project is based on best international practice found in either Europe and Japan. That is the Leeds station in which HS2 and HS3 trains will now use, giving good connections to local services and opportunities for HS2 trains to serve places beyond Leeds such as Bradford, Halifax and Harrogate. That is a good decision by Sir David Higgins to cancel the stand alone HS2 station which would have hindered passengers travelling beyond Leeds. But there is still a lot to do to bring HS2 to best international high speed practice. Parkway stations do not generate economic growth, even by calling then 'development hubs'. If we want to grow jobs, then HS2 trains need to call at city centre stations in Nottingham, Sheffield, Stone and Derby.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

23/05/2019Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

Scrapping HS2 would be a “disaster” and would undermine Britain’s “national prosperity for decades to come,” more t... more >
Network Rail unveils new regional managing directors

23/05/2019Network Rail unveils new regional managing directors

Network Rail has announced five new regional managing directors as part of its “evolution” towards a more passenger-focused approach.... more >
£800m worth of rail haulage contracts awarded by Network Rail

22/05/2019£800m worth of rail haulage contracts awarded by Network Rail

Network Rail has awarded contracts for rail haulage and the operations of its engineering trains and seasonal treatment services for Control Peri... 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 >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... 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. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

23/05/2019Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

The Midlands 30-year plan will deliver many economic benefits and will need a wide and diverse supply chain to deliver some of the key projects. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

13/05/2019The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), gives her view on the state of the UK’s ... more >
NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

13/05/2019NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) chief executive Neil Robertson returns to write for RTM, this time, to assess the digital skills shor... more >
Delivering cost-effective electrification

13/05/2019Delivering cost-effective electrification

David Clarke, technical director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), sets out the findings of a new report on how rail electrification can... more >
5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

13/05/20195G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector.  ... more >