Welcoming the two new bills in this week’s Queen’s Speech, Greengauge 21 Director Jim Steer calls for a genuinely national plan to be developed for high-speed rail (HSR).
The Preparation Bill will apply to England, Scotland and Wales and allow expenditure and early progress to be made on HS2. Importantly, it also allows for ‘preparatory work for future phases of a high speed rail network at the appropriate time’.
“It is essential that the country has the opportunity to think strategically. We need to ensure that all English regions as well as Scotland and Wales benefit from access to the HSR network. Much can be done by extending HS2 but we need to have the whole picture”, said Greengauge 21 Director Jim Steer.
Greengauge 21’s vision for a national network includes east west links as well as north-south, and was developed through a systematic comparison and appraisal of alternative network approaches. It has the great merit of inter-connecting all of the major cities – and the main airports.
“We’d like DfT to engage in the process of reviewing and updating our plan – along with wider stakeholders to ensure that we get the best possible connected outcome – using new lines and route upgrades to create a network of real relevance to the whole of Great Britain”.