High Speed in the North of England

1 November, 2016

When it becomes the first ‘sub national transport body’ in 2017, Transport for the North must become the client and guiding mind for HS2 in the north of England.

Transforming the North’s economy requires transformed transport infrastructure. The HS2 project is now recognised as having multiple functions, including improving links between the north’s major cities, as well as to/from London. Decisions about how and when to implement HS2 in the north, including developing service plans and providing for access to HS2 stations, must be recognised as a core part of Transport for the North’s transport strategy.

Sir David Higgins’ observation in 2014 that HS2 could contribute better north-south connectivity within the north, but that the absence of good east-west connections remained an issue, was met by a swift, joined-up response from the north’s major cities. The work, presented as “One North” outlined an overall transport strategy with better rail connectivity playing a key part, and set out the close inter-relations between HS2, faster east west connections, and city region network development.

Greengauge 21 believes that cost-efficient decisions on phasing and integration that support the North’s wider industrial strategy and economic plans will only come through widespread cooperation and collaboration that is led by Transport for the North.

At the National Rail Conference in Manchester Jim Steer expounds on the importance of a unifying guiding mind on planning rail investment, and pinpoints the need to empower Transport for the North to achieve this. He explains why responsibility for planning decisions on HS2 in the north of England needs to be made an explicit responsibility of Transport for the North.

 

Access the presentation here: Greengauge 21 National Rail Conference 2016


HS2 completes Third Reading stage in the House of Commons

24 March, 2016

HS2 took a major step forward today as the legislation required to build the first phase, from London to Birmingham, completed its Third Reading stage in the House of Commons with MPs voting 399 to 42 in favour of the Bill.  It has now been introduced into the House of Lords.

On introduction to the House of Lords, a fresh petitioning period is triggered, and those directly and specially affected by the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill now have the opportunity to petition.

The petitioning period set by the House of Lords runs from today until 18 April. Subject to completing its Parliamentary passage, construction will begin next year.


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