Timed to coincide with the launch of the full high-speed service for Kent, Greengauge 21 today published research into the new services.
“We already have a clear demonstration that high-speed rail will attract people away from more carbon-intensive car use”, said Greengauge 21 Director, Jim Steer. “The new high-speed services have been running in Kent for 6 months on a Preview basis, sufficient to get an early measure of the impact the full service will have. We have found that there has already been diversion from car (mainly) and coach to high-speed rail—8% overall, 11% at Ebbsfleet—as well as from existing, slower train services. He pointed out that the rate of diversion from private car use was higher than the levels assumed in their forecasts for a national high-speed rail network made earlier this year.
Greengauge 21’s new research, carried out by The Leading Edge, reveals that people in Kent consider the new high-speed services to be transformational, “giving them back two hours of their day” and providing an easy to use and high quality train service.
“We also have uncovered evidence that there is sharpening interest in the residential and commercial property markets in the parts of Kent served by the new services. The step-change in transport connectivity leaves the county very well-placed to emerge strongly from the recession and over the next few years, key towns in Kent can expect a regeneration boost. “If we proceed with a national high-speed network, these beneficial effects can be shared more widely across the whole country, not just in Kent”, Jim Steer added.