HS2 Questions

Examining the issues around the proposed High Speed 2 route

High Speed 2 – Essential for capacity? Absolutely not!

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There is still plenty of scope to add capacity to the West Coast Mainline. The idea that this is costly or impractical is plain nonsense.


For a start, simply increasing the number of standard class carriages from five to nine doubles the number of standard seats throughout the day (four extra full capacity cars with no shop or driving cab etc.) – a 100% increase in standard-class capacity against 2% p.a. forecast growth.


Infrastructure work at four specific bottlenecks makes it possible to triple standard class capacity.

Freight growth is met by the Felixstowe to Nuneaton upgrade, which will take half the freight traffic off the busy southern section of the West Coast Mainline.


Improving our existing services is better than High Speed 2 (HS2) because:


It is a less risky solution, as it can be done incrementally in line with demand.


It is a more resilient solution as most of the line is 4-track so there is scope to bypass problems. By comparison, HS2 does not deliver the extra capacity claimed for it because it cannot run 18 trains an hour – even the Japanese only manage 12. So HS2 has insufficient capacity and no “firewall”.


It is a less disruptive solution as much of the increase in capacity can come from rolling stock changes and specific work at just four bottlenecks. By comparison, HS2 will cause eight years of chaos as Euston is rebuilt, and major disruption for Great Western passengers at Old Oak Common too.


It is a quicker solution than waiting for HS2 in 2026: urgently needed overcrowding on fast commuter trains to Milton Keynes and Northampton cannot wait until 2026 to provide relief.


It is a massively less expensive and better value for money solution, giving more scope to invest in even more pressing transport priorities elsewhere in the country to create jobs and growth.


Read about the much better alternative at www.betterthanhs2.org


Written by hs2questions

October 27, 2011 at 10:41 am

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