HS2 IRRELEVANT TO NORTH WEST RAIL USERS: PUT CASH INTO NORTHERN RAIL HUB-STYLE PROJECTS.

HS2 ACTION ALLIANCE

COMMENT

 

February 7, 2014.

 

HS2 IRRELEVANT TO NORTH WEST RAIL USERS: PUT CASH INTO NORTHERN RAIL HUB-STYLE PROJECTS.

 

Commenting on the launch of work on the Northern Rail Hub, Iain Macauley of HS2 Action Alliance, the biggest national HS2 opposition campaign, said:

 

“The Northern Rail Hub is exactly the sort of project into which investment should be ploughed because local rail improvements are likely to yield more economic benefits than high speed rail investment – but the issue is that if HS2 goes ahead, there is no money to pay for more local rail services.

 

“The Hub is the sort of development that will make a huge difference to real-life everyday travel challenges affecting the movement of millions of people around the north of England for whom HS2 is irrelevant.

 

“Claims that the north west’s towns and cities will benefit from more local services arising from HS2 plans ignore two simple points: firstly, the railways run on subsidies.  New services only happen if someone other than fare payers put money in. Provision for these new subsidies to help fund local rail services to exploit track space freed up by HS2 are nowhere to be found in the HS2 business case. Government promises about new subsidised services starting 10 and 20 years hence, when those making the promises will long be out of office, should be treated with great scepticism.

 

“What’s more ‘modal shift’ has collapsed: the number of HS2 passengers saying they would switch from air and cars to high speed rail has halved since the last HS2 business case in 2012.  Currently, just 1% of prospective HS2 trips come from air – previously 3% – and 4% from cars (was 8%). In no way can HS2 be credibly presented as part of ‘low carbon economy’ and a ‘green solution’, even before taking account of its damage to countryside and areas of natural beauty.

 

“The best way to further improve rail connectivity in the north is to invest in rail connectivity in the north; HS2 is really only designed to connect Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds to London.

 

“It’s difficult to see how HS2 could function as some sort of bypass for the clogged arteries of our transport system when most journeys in the UK are short length and in urban areas – the North West is no different. And according to HS2 Ltd, the line would result in a baseline reduction in motorway traffic of only around 1% – barely noticeable on the region’s motorways as anybody gridlocked on the M60 in daily rush hours will confirm.

 

“The diversion of funding into HS2 is particularly harmful for rail development in the north of England. For example, in Network Rail’s Control Period 5 (2014 – 2019) there is no funding for electrification to Hull, Blackburn, Lincoln, Rochdale, Halifax, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Rotherham, Harrogate and Barnsley.”

 

Bullet point capacity facts:

 

https://www.hs2actionalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/130909-Capacity-On-A-Page.pdf

 

Ends

Further information:

 

Iain Macauley

im@pressrelations.co.uk

07788 978800

 

John Read

john.read@readdillon.com

07774 476391

 

http://www.hs2actionalliance.org/