Lessons from HS1

28 November, 2016

How often do we hear that we should learn from projects already implemented? In the case of HS2 of course, HS1 comes to mind.

The patient and wise might suggest that it is still too early to be definitive.  If the Paramount leisure park proceeds at Ebbsfleet, what currently looks a pretty dismal response to HS1 in regeneration terms might look rather different (as did Stratford before and after the decision to host the hugely successful 2012 Olympics there).

One clear lesson is to hand, however. We learned this key HS1 lesson from Jeremy Candfield – who has just retired after a distinguished career at DfT, then at Union Railways working on what became HS1, and then as head of the Railway Industry Association (RIA). When we asked Read on »

Greengauge 21 heralds a further step forward by HS2 Ltd

9 November, 2016

Published on 31st October, Changing Britain: HS2 Taking Root shows the imaginative steps being taken by nine cities and towns across the north of England to ensure that they can realise the full benefits of HS2.

The cities concerned lie beyond the new HS2 infrastructure but HS2 services will be extended over the existing rail network to reach them. The report spells out the transformed connections in terms of improved journey times to Birmingham and London these places will enjoy. Read on »

Greengauge 21 says that expanding Heathrow must be accompanied by an expanded rail network west of London

27 October, 2016

Greengauge 21 welcomes the ending of uncertainty on Government’s preference for where additional runway capacity should be located. In opting for the third runway at Heathrow, it has stressed how this airport is better placed than Gatwick to deliver benefits across the nation as a whole, and not just for the south east. This is true, but not by virtue of the plan to use the additional capacity created to operate more domestic air services – these could just as easily be added to an expanded Gatwick.

What’s been missed is the unique opportunity at Heathrow to use existing and planned rail links to provide a wide set of direct rail services to the airport from across a much wider catchment.

We know from the success of direct rail services to Manchester Airport (from widespread locations such as Scotland, the Northeast, Yorkshire, the whole of the North West – and soon from North Wales too) that these services have huge appeal and are a commercial success. And looking at Heathrow’s international competitors we also see the success of direct rail services (including high-speed rail) from widespread locations to world hub airports such as Amsterdam’s Schiphol, CDG Paris and Frankfurt. Read on »

Sheffield served and saved

7 July, 2016

HS2 Ltd has responded sensitively and positively to the challenge of serving South Yorkshire. Out goes the idea of a lofty station out of town at Meadowhall. In comes serving Sheffield city centre at the existing rail/supertram hub (Midland), as Greengauge 21 has previously suggested.

“The preferred approach put forward by HS2 Ltd today brings major cost savings as well as bringing HS2 to the heart of the city of Sheffield” said Greengauge 21 Director Jim Steer. “It means that across the North, all the cities served by HS2 will have central locations rather than parkways. It also means that the North East will get slightly faster HS2 services – and can be directly connected to Sheffield too”. HS2 Ltd is to be congratulated.

He added that the new HS2 Ltd report opens up some of the key ambitions of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ including transformed connectivity between Leeds and Sheffield. It also paves the way for HS2 services to go directly to additional towns and cities including Barnsley, Wakefield and Bradford’. “The economic and regeneration benefits of HS2 can be further widened” said Jim Steer.

Time to press on with HS2

29 June, 2016

New firm job prospects from HS2 are beginning to happen and more are just around the corner. The first Phase of HS2 has passed all of the major stages in the House of Commons, maintaining a 10:1 majority in favour, and is now making good progress in the Lords. Royal Assent is expected at the end of the year. Construction will start in early 2017, and the jobs and skills and training programmes will then take off.

At a time of economic uncertainty, investing in the capacity and capability of our congested national rail network brings an injection of confidence Read on »