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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Stakeholder Perspectives: the West Coast Partnership

3 November, 2017

This latest report represents the findings of research collaboration between Greengauge 21 and stakeholder group West Coast Rail 250 (WCR250). The research examines the development potential for the West Coast corridor, identifying stakeholder needs and the opportunities that HS2 will bring from 2026/7 onwards, and is intended to help shape WCR250’s approach to (as yet) un-finalised aspects of HS2 such as the hub station at Crewe.

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Heathrow Airport Response to Consultation

7 June, 2017

Heathrow Airport Response to Consultation on Draft National Policy Statement: new runway capacity and infrastructure at airports in the South East of England

Greengauge 21 regards it as vital that Heathrow, the nation’s sole international hub airport, is fully connected with the national rail system as it expands. Rail developments and runway/terminal arrangements need to be planned together, with the airport’s expansion through the North West Runway matched by a step-change in rail network connectivity: coordination cannot be left to chance or to uncertain funding arrangements.

On 25 October 2016 the government announced its support for a new north-west runway at Heathrow Airport. The government believes a new north-west runway at Heathrow will strengthen and develop the UK’s links with the rest of the world, and offer improved opportunities for tourism and trade.

The government recently ran a 16 week public consultation on the draft Airports National Policy Statement – which sets out the policy that applies to decisions on whether major infrastructure projects can go ahead.

Greengauge 21 has developed a full response to the consultation, which can be downloaded here: Draft Airports National Policy Statement Consultation response

Call for a truly national network of high speed rail services

8 February, 2017

Greengauge 21 has responded to the National Infrastructure Commission’s consultation about the UK’s infrastructure needs, calling for the connectivity gains that HS2 brings to be extended across the nation as a whole over the next 30 years. Discussing evidence submitted in the response, Director Jim Steer said: “this can be conceived of as an inter-city or inter-regional rail strategy for 2050. It needs to

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Peninsula Rail Task Force report targets resilience, faster journeys and connectivity

25 January, 2017

The Peninsula Rail Task Force report published in November 2016 targets resilience, faster journeys and connectivity. It rightly wants to see London-Plymouth journey times cut to 2h15. But it down-plays the case for re-opening the ‘northern route’ that serves Tavistock and Okehampton.

In 2015, Greengauge 21 set out the key sustainability arguments for re-establishing this important rail connection. Our new report Peninsula Rail Task Force report targets resilience challenges assumptions in the Task Force’s analysis and argues it would be wrong to postpone investment until the 2030s. By then, the existing line via Dawlish will have been subject to flooding disruption on multiple occasions. A ‘high road’ is needed – for resilience to adverse weather – and to open up rail access to Devon and NE Cornwall.

This should include a new cut-off to bypass Cowley Bridge junction, which – astonishingly enough – was reported as being closed due to flooding on the very day the Task Force’s report was published.