Greengauge 21’s inaugural Public Interest Group meeting

19 September, 2008

Greengauge 21 announces the formation of a Public Interest Group to take forward a £0.75m programme to carry out the strategic planning of the nation’s high-speed rail (HSR) network.

“Today, Greengauge 21 announces the formation of a Public Interest Group to take forward a £0.75m programme to carry out the strategic planning of the nation’s high-speed rail (HSR) network. We announce the membership of the Group, and the appointment of consultants and advisers to carry out the work that the Public Interest Group is funding.”

“The formation of this Public Interest Group today sends out a powerful message: the nation is keen to see progress on HSR, and is prepared to find innovative ways of achieving that aim. Having seen the success of HS1 and the Eurostar services from London, the country is alive to the advantages that HSR could bring, and wants to see them spread more widely”, added Greengauge 21 Director, Jim Steer.

He continued: “The planned programme of work will be managed carefully alongside the studies that Network Rail have recently announced (which will examine the capacity constraints of the existing network and the case that may exist for building new lines). Our approach recognises that HSR in the first instance is a means of efficiently creating more transport network capacity. However, we also wish to see to what extent HSR can serve broader economic regeneration ambitions and, by setting HSR into an improved integrated network, attract demand away from short haul aviation and lessen the level of car dependence – and so reduce the overall level of carbon emissions from the transport sector.”

At a meeting of the Public Interest Group today in York, Jim Steer will outline the programme ahead.

Download press release