Greengauge 21 fully supports the development of a high-speed rail network for Britain and welcomes the Government proposals published for consultation in February 2010. This new report, submitted to Government in July 2011 for the HS2 consultation, sets out ways in which the value of HS2 – already substantial – could be increased further.
The better case for HS2 is delivered through a number of measures. The service patterns planned for HS2 can be improved and better use made of the important connection to HS1 that is now a feature of the scheme. At the other end of the new line, many of the benefits of the proposed second stage ‘Y’ network can be delivered earlier through providing a low-cost strategic connection to the East Midlands when HS2 is built.
The end result of the proposed modifications would be a broadening of the beneficiaries of HS2 – spanning not just London, the Midlands, the North West and Scotland, but also covering the North East, Yorkshire, the East Midlands, Essex and Kent.
Preliminary estimates suggest that benefits could be increased by at least a third, and costs savings could exceed £1bn.