High Speed 2
Press Release 9 Nov 2011
The Conservative Transport Group congratulates the House of Commons
Transport Committee on their excellent insight into the issues facing the
Government in developing its high-speed rail strategy.
- We share the Committee’s concern that the Government have not yet
demonstrated how HS2 fits into a national framework for intermodal, and
interconnecting, transport, and in particular how HS2 complements our
wider national aviation policy.
- The Committee take the very sensible view that HS2 should proceed on the
basis that all the proposed alternatives to HS2 could leave us with worse
capacity and congestion problems in the future if the present strong
growth in rail travel continues.
- We are very pleased that the Committee recommends the Government to set
out more clearly the costs and benefits of routing HS2 through Heathrow,
and making it the principal interchange for West London. This analysis
should encompass the status of not only the three possible complementary
schemes (linking Heathrow to Reading, Gatwick and Staines - Airtrack Lite),
but also an analysis of any further schemes that could add value to
Heathrow as a HS2 interchange. Heathrow airport is a major destination.
Old Oak Common is not.
- The construction of a link from HS2 at Lichfield to the Birmingham –
Derby line would enable HS2 trains in phase 1 to cut 30 minutes off the
journey times from London to Derby and Sheffield and also permit trains
from the North East to access HS1. We consider that the inclusion of this
link would improve the financial returns in building HS2 and are
pleased the Transport Committee supports this.
- The Transport Committee has noted the lack of information on the number
and locations of stations on the full route (to Manchester and Leeds). We
are concerned that HS2 Ltd will opt for the easy option of building
parkway stations that will not generate the expected traffic levels and in
doing so will omit many important city centre stations such as Nottingham,
Stoke-on-Trent and Sheffield from HS2 services.
- The lack of explicit details on the likely pattern of services on the
classic lines when HS2 opens has failed to inspire confidence in HS2 in
many areas that could benefit from increased capacity in the classic lines
from HS2, and generated much unnecessary opposition to HS2.
Notes for editors. The Conservative Transport Group are members of the
Conservative Party with an interest and knowledge on transport who act as
a conduit for discussion in transport matters between Ministers and party