The Lake District’s 2040 Visitor Travel Vision is set to receive a welcome boost through the proposed High Speed Two passenger service travelling between Carlisle and London.
Current plans for HS2 include work at Carlisle station that will enable HS2 trains to stop there, and reduce journey times between Carlisle and London by almost an hour.
This will allow for more people to access Cumbria’s attractions, which supports the National Park’s economic growth and sustainable travel ambitions.
As one of the UK’s leading tourism destinations, the Lake District National Park is hugely popular with UK and oversea visitors. Growth is anticipated to continue at pace, with potentially 22 million people per annum heading to the Lake District by 2040.
Tourism is essential to the region’s economy but, changing the way the growing number of people travel to and around the Lakes is important to reducing carbon emissions and protecting its national heritage.
A direct, high-speed rail would support the goal of getting people out of cars, off planes and onto the railways, in support of the Government’s target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. It also supports the National Park’s ambition for 50% more visitors to arrive by rail.
Mark Thurston, CEO of HS2 Ltd said: “HS2 will revolutionise the way we travel around Britain. High-speed rail connections will make it easier for people to travel to their favourite destinations and provide a cleaner, greener way to do it.
“Cumbria is home to some of the country’s finest green spaces and dramatic landscapes and we’re proud to be supporting their sustainable transport vision.”
Jim Walker, Chairman of Cumbria Tourism said: “HS2 will provide a real step change for Cumbria and our visitor economy. With further improvements to public transport and increased sustainable travel provision in County, visitors will be able to visit and enjoy our world-class landscapes in the most environmentally friendly way. These improvements will protect the tourism economy of the County, in turn sustaining our communities for generations to come.
“Tourism is a very competitive industry and we need to offer the best experiences to our visitors to protect our success. We are delighted that HS2 will play a big part in this”