Revisiting High Speed North

4 May, 2020

Our latest report published  sets out the need to accelerate plans for a northern transport revolution, and proposes incremental rail improvements to help kick-start the North’s economy back into action.

REVISITING HIGH SPEED NORTH argues that although major rail schemes, including the second phase of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), are important and welcomed as a long-term means of levelling up the northern economy and driving change, there are serious problems to be addressed in the North’s rail network in the next 5-10 years that cannot wait for these flagship schemes. An incremental approach of upgrading the existing network needs to start straight away, designed to link up with these major projects to create High Speed North.

Taking action to address the issues in the northern rail network becomes all the more important in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. Post virus, Government will need to champion public works which are able to quickly deliver on the ground to get the economy moving and to demonstrate results on the decarbonisation and levelling up agendas.

The report is very clear that

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P-p-p-pausing Phase 2b

27 January, 2020

In Just Get HS2 Done, we urged Government to proceed with HS2 Phases 1 and 2a. We were also clear that there are problems with rail services in the North today that need addressing, not in 20 years’ time.

Leaks of the Oakervee Review of the project say that it urges Government to proceed with HS2 Phases 1 and 2a which is most welcome but that it also:

‘recommends that work on Phase 2b of the project from the West Midlands to Manchester and Leeds be paused for six months for a study into whether it could comprise a mix of conventional and high-speed lines instead’. (Source Financial Times, 20th January 2010)

There has been enough dither and delay already. The Oakervee Review was only due to take six weeks – and that was 6 months ago. Looking again at using existing lines (perhaps with upgrades)

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Connecting Great Britain and Northern Ireland

14 January, 2020

A bridge to Northern Ireland needs new connections and HS2 to ensure success. Our report – Connecting Great Britain and Northern Ireland – considers the benefits that a new fixed link sea crossing between Britain and Northern Ireland could achieve. With a wider package of transport investment, the project could not only deliver the kind of expected economic benefits from increased cross-Irish Sea trade, it can also deliver a significant carbon reduction dividend, reducing both long-distance road haulage of freight and short-haul air fights within the UK.
“As ever with transport systems”, Greengauge 21 Director Jim Steer points out, “transport projects don’t work in isolation but as part of a network. Getting value from an Irish Sea fixed crossing relies on land-based access links. These will have to be  added – and existing projects such as HS2 can then ensure full benefit realisation”.

© January 2020, Greengauge 21, Some Rights Reserved: We actively encourage people to use our work, and simply request that the use of any of our material is credited to Greengauge 21 in the following way: Greengauge 21, Title, Date


The UK’s 2070 transport infrastructure requirement

11 November, 2019

Greengauge 21 was asked to provide a key policy component in the UK 2070 Commission’s enquiry into regional inequalities that reported in September 2019. The resulting report The UK’s 2070 Transport Infrastructure Requirement aims to set out the contribution that better sustainable transport connectivity could make to rebalancing the UK by addressing its inequalities.


Beyond HS2 – a plan for a National Rail Strategy

28 May, 2018

Greengauge 21 has produced a new report – Beyond HS2 – which offers a comprehensive view of what Britain’s railway should look like by the middle of the century. Based on almost a year of work and analysis, the report concludes that our rail strategy should for the first time have a specific objective – to transform national productivity; using connectivity to

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The Interurban Bus network

12 March, 2018

It is time, our latest report says, for the Interurban to ‘come in from the cold’. While bus services may have been cut back across rural areas in recent years, Interurban buses – linking towns together – have prospered. Run on a commercial basis, offering full accessibility for wheelchair users, and free wi-fi, they are a much under-rated part of the national public transport system.

“Interurban buses have not just survived, but are offering higher quality standards, with hourly frequencies or better”, says Greengauge 21 Director Jim Steer. The problem is they are little known outside the areas they serve. And this, he says, needs to be put right so that they can make a full contribution to connecting places that have no train service.

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