Transport for the North’s spring report completed

8 March, 2016

The annual update of the ‘Northern transport strategy’ has been completed in partnership with Transport for the North, setting out progress and next steps in improving transport across the whole of the north in the areas of railways, roads Read on »


Campaign to Protect Rural England new interactive maps

15 January, 2016

With more official data available to them, the Campaign to Protect Rural England has developed a series of interactive maps to help people understand the countryside better. Covering elements such as road noise and specific countryside protections, these maps also cover the maintenance and operational aspects of HS2, including the land requirements for Phase 1 and 2, and, for example, how the proposed planting will reduce the visual impact of the line over time.  You can access the interactive maps here:  http://maps.cpre.org.uk/


November 2015 marks a major milestone for HS2

8 December, 2015

On November 30th 2015, the Secretary of State for Transport set out the progress being made with HS2, showing strong support in the Spending Review with a revised budget at £55.7bn in updated (2015) prices for the whole project. A raft of papers was released by DfT and HS2 Ltd in support of these announcements.

The Secretary of State identified three major new developments:
1. Confirmation of the Government’s intention to accelerate the route from Fradley in the West Midlands to Crewe (‘Phase 2a’) so that it opens six years earlier than planned, in 2027.
2. The release of Government funding to support the work of the Northern Gateway Partnership2 to develop its growth and regeneration plans.
3. Commitment to the full Y network, with Government undertaking the further technical and economic analysis required for decisions on the rest of the Phase 2 route (‘Phase 2b’) to be made in autumn 2016.

He also announced an improved proposal for the HS2 station at Leeds, which will now be integrated with the existing central Leeds City station.

Our latest publication summarises in turn the key points in relation to Phase 2a, Phase 2b and (briefly) the implications for Phase 1. Download the publication here: November 2015 marks a major milestone for HS2


Developing a HSR network to Scotland

9 November, 2015

The State of the Nation Infrastructure Scotland report launched this week is supportive of the case for bringing the line to Scotland. State of the Nation Scotland: Infrastructure 2015 focuses on the performance, resilience, capacity and condition of Scotland’s infrastructure networks. It also analyses the economic, social and environmental benefits of infrastructure.

The Scottish Government has committed to improving rail infrastructure, and the Borders Railway and Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Project, amongst other investments, are increasing network capacity and sustainability. The report states that while improvements to the Aberdeen-Inverness line and Highland lines are planned, enhanced rail connection from northern cities to the central belt is required if rail is to compete with road and aviation. The development of high speed rail between London and Scotland is the best option for increasing rail capacity, reducing journey times and encouraging shift from air to rail particularly if a journey time under 3 hours can be achieved. A joint Scottish and UK Government study exploring potential route options to Scotland will inform the Scottish Government’s objective of ensuring Scotland’s early inclusion within a high speed rail network. Further announcements on these options are expected in February 2016.

See related articles in Herald Scotland and Transport Extra


Are HS2’s stations properly located?

9 November, 2015

Are HS2’s stations properly located? Soon enough Government is due to report its position on Phase 2 of the project, the pair of limbs stretching northwards from the West Midlands to Manchester and Leeds. And especially in Yorkshire – in Sheffield and Leeds – there is continuing debate. Instead of the plans first drawn up in 2010/1, would it be better to have HS2 serve existing – but expanded – city centre stations instead?

It’s worth getting this right. Many English towns and cities have long suffered from poor station location decisions driven by Read on »