Greengauge 21 today published a Position Statement on the HS2 proposals for a new high-speed railway line between London and the West Midlands as an early contribution to the Government consultation currently underway.
In the Position Statement, Greengauge 21 makes clear that the Government forecasts are very cautious and also that a connection to the East Midlands should be provided in the first stage of HS2.
“This is about much more than just one new railway line,” Jim Steer, Greengauge 21 Director, said. “This is the first stage in the development of a national high-speed rail network which will provide much-needed transport capacity and deliver transformational economic benefits. HS2 is affordable and represents good value for money. The wider national network should link all Britain’s major cities and bring a significant reduction in carbon from the transport sector.”
The Greengauge 21 Position Statement warmly welcomes the Government’s proposals to develop the initial route from London to the West Midlands and supports the technical work that underpins the scheme. “The only issue that we have with the work carried out so far”, said Jim Steer, “is that in several ways it is too conservative. The demand forecasts and assessment of carbon benefits are very cautious and our own work suggests that the value for money of the proposals – while good – should in practice be even better.”
The Position Statement says that the first stage of HS2 should be configured to serve the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East as well as the West Midlands and the North West.
Jim Steer said, “There is a substantial body of research on high-speed rail available on the Greengauge 21 website, which we hope the public, local authorities and businesses – including those in the corridor between London and the West Midlands – will find informative, if they care to look.”