Latest Rail News

20.03.13

HS2 needed to cope with rail demand in West Midlands

The rise in rail journeys in Coventry and Birmingham underlines the need for an increase in capacity through HS2, Centro has argued.

Figures released by ATOC show that Coventry has seen the highest growth in rail journeys, with the number increasing by 30% over the last five years. The number of rail journeys in Birmingham rose by 22%.

Centro is conducting research to understand how capacity released on existing lines by HS2 could best be used to maximise the benefits to the West Midlands.

Geoff Inskip, chief executive of regional transport authority Centro, said the figures were proof of the escalating demand for rail travel and need for more rail capacity and the need for HS2.

“Demand for rail travel continues to escalate and this is not just about London, this is happening right here in the West Midlands.

“HS2 will provide fast, direct links between our major cities, but critically it also releases capacity on our existing lines. This report demonstrates just how much we need these extra local and regional services and the sooner the better.

 “We’re also pressing for direct services to mainland Europe which will mean passengers in Coventry and Birmingham could be in Paris and Brussels in less than three hours.

“Network Rail concluded that the West Coast Main Line would be full by the early 2020s, but the demand we are seeing already means this could well be a conservative estimate.”

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

Image c. DfT

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