Greengauge 21 was established in 2006 as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. The company was founded by Jim Steer, one of the UK’s leading transport sector specialists.
The organisation was conceived as an umbrella under which all those with an interest in a high speed rail network could come together and openly and publicly debate the merits of alternative routes, priorities and technologies, alternative implementation strategies and the economic and environmental benefits for Britain.
With no vested interest, Greengauge 21 sought to act in the national and the public interest, by carrying out research and bringing forward evidence so that a full and open debate on high-speed rail could take place.
An outline of Greengauge 21’s early history (up to 2014) is available: High-speed rail – Helping to Shape the Railways of Tomorrow in Britain
In 2008 we established a Public Interest Group, which supported and funded a large part of Greengauge 21’s early work, and prepared the ground for what was to follow: the detailed work that followed Government commitment to create HS2.
In 2012 we established a HSR Group (HSRG) to bring together industry expertise to help ensure that Britain’s high-speed rail network is delivered successfully to world-class standards. More information about the HSRG can be found here.
Greengauge 21 has always been alert to the wider implications of progressing high-speed rail in Britain, keen to learn form overseas case studies and equally keen to examine the wider context in which this transformational improvement to the national rail system should be viewed.
So the scope of research and policy has broadened from the early years to consider areas such as:
- Simplification of rail fares
- The role that interurban bus services can play
- The impacts of improved connectivity on social mobility
- Land use and economic regeneration impacts
- Rail connections to Heathrow Airport
- The needs of specific geographies (including North Wales, Lincolnshire, Devon & Cornwall, Northern Ireland)
- Funding, financing and concessioning.
A national-scale strategic plan Beyond HS2 was published in 2018, and in the years since, a series of reports has examined the unfolding picture with the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands.
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