Build HS2, but continue to invest in the existing rail network

Build HS2, but continue to invest in existing network

Go-HS2 welcomed the Transport Select Committee conclusion that HS2 was affordable and demonstrated a good business case. You can read our response from Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip here.

Our response to critics’ comment is also discussed in an earlier blog.

A common thread running through many responses to the report is the wish to build HS2 to deliver capacity, while ensuring that investment continues in the current rail network.

Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies said:

“A new high speed line is vital if we are to meet the transport challenges that will face the country over the coming decades. But the Committee is right to point out that high speed should not come at the expense of investment in the existing network.”

“High speed would help to alleviate the capacity crunch on many of our main intercity routes and would also offer the option for faster and more frequent local services to towns such as Milton Keynes, Watford and Northampton, as space is freed up on existing lines.

Richard Hebditch, Campaign for Better Transport‘s campaigns director, said:

“We’ve always said that high speed rail could be part of the solution for improving the transport network but that it shouldn’t be at the expense of investment in the rest of the rail network.

“As the Committee points out, HS2 has to be part of a comprehensive transport strategy so that it can play a role in cutting carbon and regenerating local economies in the Midlands and the North.

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, said: “Britain’s railways are attracting more passengers again. All the long-term predictions show that the use of rail is likely to increase. We all want to continue to move around as we do now, have choices about where we live and work and reduce the effect of this mobility on the environment. In order to do this there needs to be a step-change in the space on the rail network for more trains.”

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