Letter to the Editor – HS2 brings more capacity for local, regional and freight services

Geoff Inskip, chief executive of Centro

Dear Sir,

The Transport Secretary’s decision to build HS2 is great news for our region. Not only will HS2 provide a fast, direct link between our major cities, but significantly for the West Midlands, it will release capacity on our existing lines for more local services.

Many of our passengers recognise that our train services are increasingly crowded, particularly at peak times, so HS2 will release more space that is desperately needed.

This will allow us to run more local and regional services benefiting rail users in the West Midlands, for example, increasing services between Wolverhampton and Birmingham Airport, and Coventry and Birmingham. We can also free space for more freight, taking lorries off our congested roads.

While we recognise there has been opposition along the line of route from people directly affected, it is now important that the Government ensures that work is carried out to reduce the impact on the environment, communities and individuals.

The West Midlands stands to benefit tremendously with 22,000 jobs and a £1.5bn per year boost to our economy. Now the decision has been made we look forward to turning to the next chapter and taking advantage of this tremendous opportunity to revolutionise transport in the West Midlands.

Yours

Geoff Inskip

Centro chief executive

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2 Responses to Letter to the Editor – HS2 brings more capacity for local, regional and freight services

  1. James Avery says:

    The problem is that Birmingham is where capacity benefits are least needed, as there are other corridors which can be used (esp via High Wycombe). The benefits of HS2 come much further up the line, if they get that far.

    In the meantime, HS2 will offer very little alternative to flights – http://www.flightmapping.com/james-blog/think-hs2-is-an-alternative-to-flights-think-again

    (you emailed an article about closing stations, but that isn’t up?)

    • gohs2 says:

      Thanks for your comments James,
      We believe – and Transport Select Committee concluded – that capacity needs addressing between Birmingham and London first. Stations along the West Coast have seen service cuts due to capacity constraints and there are problems with overcrowding in MK, Northampton, Watford.
      Today’s Network Rail/Passenger Focus report and ATOC response deals with this. You’re right to say problems exist further north too. Wedgwood and Barlaston have never reopened after 2003 and there are problems along this busy corridor.
      In fact, Network Rail’s report on shortcomings of 51M scheme note that Stone would close, Atherstone would close, Rugeley would lose its London service and Birmingham – Coventry would see no increase in capacity were this alternative to be implemented.
      The blog you mention will be posted shortly (editor’s letter posted first), but Nick Kingsley makes the same points eloquently here: http://bit.ly/zc60Yc

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