High Speed Rail will significantly reduce travel times between the UK’s major cities and provide international rail connections. This in turn will release huge capacity on the existing network. These benefits are not achievable by upgrading the existing network alone.
Although alternatives such as RP2 have been examined these do not meet the capacity requirements of the UK rail network. According to the Association of Train Operating Companies’ (ATOC) latest figures passenger levels are growing at 6% per year.
High Speed Rail is projected to generate significant local and national benefits, including:
- Boosting the West Midlands’ economy by £1.5 billion.
- Bringing 22,000 jobs to the region.
- Up to 10,000 new construction jobs.
- Up to 2,000 operational and maintenance jobs.
- Travel time of 49 minutes between Birmingham and London from the current 85 minutes.
- An increase in West Midlands GVA of almost six per cent by 2040.
Existing Rail Enhancements
The transfer of the majority of intercity services on to High Speed Rail will provide the once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the way people travel in the West Midlands and across the UK.
This provides capacity for new services from stations including Wolverhampton, Walsall, Coventry and Sandwell & Dudley.
At the same time, it will provide capacity for more rail freight, allowing the West Midlands to trade with the rest of the UK, Europe and the rest of world.