Call for a truly national network of high speed rail services

8 February, 2017

Greengauge 21 has responded to the National Infrastructure Commission’s consultation about the UK’s infrastructure needs, calling for the connectivity gains that HS2 brings to be extended across the nation as a whole over the next 30 years. Discussing evidence submitted in the response, Director Jim Steer said: “this can be conceived of as an inter-city or inter-regional rail strategy for 2050. It needs to include a combination of new-build high speed rail and upgrades of existing main lines. This strategy is the investment best-placed to meet the National Infrastructure Commission’s defined objectives.”

The Submission also calls for a renewed effort to provide better links to the nation’s key international trading gateways as Brexit draws closer. It envisages a need for port expansion so that inter-continental shipping can bypass the major container ports on mainland Europe. These UK ports, the report explains, will need to have better rail access to/from key centres of production and consumption. And it wants to see direct rail services from across the nation to our hub airports too.

Greengauge 21’s Fast Forward report published in 2009 provided an initial view on what a long term strategy for national high-speed rail might look like, and this is shown in the diagram below. Greengauge 21 intends to update this work during the course of 2017 to take account of Phases 1 and 2 of HS2 and emerging priorities from the regions and devolved nations of the UK.