The British High Speed Rail Network

7 September, 2015

The debate at Greengauge 21’s conference in Glasgow on 3rd September comes at a pivotal moment. Successive governments have talked in terms of a British High Speed Rail network. But as yet plans are only developed in the southern half of Britain.

Keith Brown Keith Brown, Scottish Government Minister for Infrastructure, opened the conference by re-stating the critical role of high speed rail in  spreading inclusive  economic  growth as  part of an overall transport strategy.

Cross border high speed rail could bring Scotland a £25bn boost. Sitting in the 2nd largest economy in the  UK after  London, Mr Brown  saw the North of England not  as  competition for Scotland but an ally in delivering more balanced growth across the UK.

He welcomed  Northern  England leaders working with UK Government on  Northern  Powerhouse proposals. By around February Mr Brown expected to be in a position with Patrick McLoughlin to share further studies on cross-border options being  led by Sir David Higgins  and  HS2 Ltd – and importantly to set out next steps.

Founder of Greengauge 21, Jim Steer, said a national high speed rail network simply must include Scotland and the commitment to  publishing potential routes for  taking HS2 north of the Border is a big step forward. Read on »

Agreement in sight to bring fast rail link to Scotland

27 July, 2015

An agreement to cut train journeys from Scotland to London to three hours by bringing high-speed rail north of the Border is in the offing between the UK and Scottish governments.

The deal could involve a combination of upgrading existing tracks and building new high-speed lines, targeting sections of new line, built for higher speed, to provide the extra line capacity where necessary.

A spokesperson from the Scottish Government said “The Scottish Government and the Department for Transport (DfT) continue to work together and we are optimistic about seeing a joint, positive announcement as the outcome of these talks.”

Read Alastair Dalton’s full article in The Scotsman here.

Eurostar sale proves the commercial value of British high-speed rail

4 March, 2015

The UK Government’s sale of its 40% share in Eurostar raises £585m for the Exchequer – with a further £172m coming from the sale of its preference share, making a total of roundly £0.75bn. This exceeds handsomely the value expected: Government accounts showed Read on »

Scottish government cites Greengauge 21 research in call to Westminster

25 February, 2015

Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown has challenged the main Westminster parties to commit to HSR north of the border — citing research from Greengauge 21 which shows a Manchester to Scotland high speed link has the potential to generate almost £25bn for the economy. Read the full article here.

The PAC tells us only part of the story

15 January, 2015

The Public accounts Committee calls for a 30-year strategic plan in its critique of HS2, and we agree with them, but suspect that in 30 years’ time, we’ll still all be waiting. DfT has done well to get rail Read on »