Planning for high-​​speed rail

31 July, 2009

An independent report for Greengauge 21 on planning for high-speed rail identifies the complementary measures that might be needed alongside the core HSR investment to ensure the most sustainable pattern of development.

Today, Greengauge 21 is launching an independent report on planning for high-speed rail. It identifies the measures that might be needed alongside the core investment to ensure that the most desirable and most sustainable pattern of development ensues. It addresses the key question of whether improved accessibility between Britain’s cities will help re-balance growth pressures or simply reinforce the dominant position of London.

The report, by independent expert Alan Wenban-Smith, analyses the complementary planning policies that would influence the regional economic impact of high-speed rail. He consulted widely with senior players in formulating his assessment. He concludes that we lack, as a nation, the necessary governance, delivery and appraisal mechanisms to put in place the complementary measures that would help ensure that high-speed rail has the most beneficial impact on regional economies.

The report argues that a more integrated approach to public investment plans should form part of a package of complementary measures, and warns that this will only be effective in attracting and shaping private investment within the framework of a new national perspective on the desirable pattern of regional development.

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