Re-opening Tavistock-Okehampton: why, when and how

18 March, 2019

At a Greengauge 21 seminar at the University of Plymouth on February 28th, we explored with key local stakeholders how a fully integrated public transport network could be developed for the South West. With some exciting rail developments taking place in Cornwall and Devon, three impediments to the progress all stakeholders are seeking emerged:

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How to avoid fudge, muddle and endless disruption

11 February, 2019

Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary this evening questions whether HS2 should proceed. The views of long-standing opponents of HS2 get another airing, with some of them arguing the money should go instead to improving the existing railway.

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Questioning HS2? Remember to ask why…

24 January, 2019

In a recent article in Transport Times – Director of Midlands Connect Maria Machancoses calls upon the UK’s regions to unite behind HS2 and ensure the project becomes a reality in its entirety – all the way to Manchester and Leeds.

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Report calls for a national rail/high-speed rail plan

28 November, 2018

This month the High-speed rail international benchmarking study dated November 2016 was released. The findings come from an independent PwC investigation commissioned by former chancellor George Osborne in 2014. The review was finished in 2016 but its publication was delayed by two years.

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Setting out a long term rail plan for Scotland

15 November, 2018

At the first of our regional seminars held in Glasgow today, we called for substantial investment in rail across Scotland.

Its analysis is that for Britain, three factors – low productivity, over centralisation and the highest levels of transport congestion in Europe – are inter-related. Its economic analysis shows that poor connectivity is a common factor, and in its report ‘Beyond HS2’ published earlier this year, it set out a long-term plan to address the problem.

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HS2: a magic money tree?

27 September, 2018

Unthinking populism has led some to put forward scrapping HS2 as a solution to worrying projections of economic losses from Brexit. ‘Here’s £50bn we could save and spend instead on (say) the NHS’.

But scrapping HS2 does not create a magic money tree.

Rather, it would be an act of extreme short-termism, signalling no belief in the future of the UK.

For a start, aborting the capital spend on HS2 means losing the stream of economic benefits it generates at roundly the rate of £2 benefit of every £1 outlay.

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