Make HS2 an X not a Y, think tank says

 

High speed rail should be rolled out across the country as part of a strategy to transform the nation's network from its current 'hub-and-spoke’ system centred on London, a new report has said.

Much wider high speed rail connections than the controversial £55bn HS2 plan are needed to tackle the UK's flagging productivity and put 'rocket fuel' into the economy, the report's authors say.

The Beyond HS2 report by think tank Greengauge 21 calls for HS2 to be developed from a “Y” to an “X” shaped network, including connections to Bristol and Cardiff in the south west.

It also calls for the first major upgrade to the East Coast Mainline since the 1980s, including in the area of 'most pressing' between Darlington and Newcastle.

A target of London to Glasgow or Edinburgh rail journey times of 3 hours 15 minutes should be set, with equivalent speed-ups for links between Scotland and provincial cities in England, and could be achieved by 2033 the report claims.

The overall plans to be fully implemented by 2040 cover:

  • 101 miles of new high-speed railways (300km/h+)
  • 127 miles of new fast railway lines (200-250km/h)
  • 97 miles of other new lines (of which the Okehampton-Tavistock reopening and Bedford-Cambridge (EWR) comprise 60% of route mileage)
  • 838 miles of route upgrades (of which the three main lines (West Coast, East Coast and Great Western) comprise 66% of route mileage)
  • six enhanced city region rail networks (for Birmingham, Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester).
  • A new rail connection from Kent to Essex, uniting two regional economies to work more effectively together and provide a rail freight M25 bypass to London
  • Essex & East Anglia – with a new high speed line from London to Stansted and beyond towards Cambridge/Colchester, alleviating the West Anglia and Great Eastern Mainlines, both of which are at capacity, and delivering a 15 minute London-Stansted journey time, transforming Stansted airport’s attractiveness.

”Local

Image from Greengauge 21's report
 

Looking ahead to 2040, the report states there 'is a shortage of longer term plans for rail, comprising only one or two well-known mega-projects and no overall strategy'.

It adds that there 'is no spatial plan, and regional spatial plans and targets have been scrapped' and suggests that expanding the rail network is a key way to avoid suburban sprawl and traffic congestion.

One of the report's five co-authors, Greengauge 21 director Jim Steer said: 'Britain lacks a long term national railway strategy beyond HS2. We need a plan to put rocket fuel into our economic productivity and today’s report sets out proposals to do so.

'To transform productivity across the whole of Britain, we need to transform the connectivity of dozens of cities the length and breadth of the country. Fundamentally, we need to completely re-orientate the railway from a ‘hub-and-spoke’ centred on London to a fully national network.'

Britain’s productivity continues to lag behind the average for the other six G7 economies, with ONS figures showing a gap of 16.3%. Compared to our European neighbours, the UK’s productivity is lower than Italy by 10.5%, lower than France by 22.8% and lower than Germany by an astonishing 26.2%.

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
transport network jobs

Engineer Maintenance

Liverpool City Council
£32,233 - £37,107
Liverpool City Council are looking to recruit an Engineer Maintenance Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Tree Services Programme Manager

Nottingham City Council
£37,107
You will be responsible for the management and maintenance of the Council's trees and woods, and will provide professional advice to others Woodthorpe, Nottingham
Recuriter: Nottingham City Council

Transport Coordinator

Camden London Borough Council
£32,473 to £37,670
We have an exciting opportunity for 2 highly customer focused Transport Coordinators to work in the busy Camden Transport Team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Highway Electrical Supervisor (Highway Maintenance)

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,657 to £28,221
The post will support two Senior Lighting Engineers in leading and contributing to the delivery of the Street Lighting function for the Authority Bootle, Merseyside
Recuriter: Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Flood Risk Management Engineer

London Borough of Bexley
£31,353 to £36,876
We are currently seeking a Flood Risk Management Engineer who will have a lead role with the Flood Risk and Development Team Bexley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Senior Engineer (Traffic Signal Improvements)

Lincolnshire County Council
£34,106 - £38,052
This is a superb opportunity to lead, motivate and inspire our engineering team working on traffic signal improvement projects. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Senior Engineer (Traffic Signal System and Operations)

Lincolnshire County Council
£34,106 - £38,052
This is a superb opportunity to lead, motivate and inspire our engineering team working on traffic signal systems and operations. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Principal Engineer (Traffic Signals)

Lincolnshire County Council
£42,806 - £49,441
Do you want to lead, manage and motivate a team of engineers working at the cutting edge of technology? Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Principal Nuisance Control Officer

Brent Council
£38,040 - £40,086 p.a. inc. + £4,800 shift allowance p.a.
Salary range
Recuriter: Brent Council

Rights of Way Search Officer - Highways Services

Bridgend County Borough Council
£7,188 - £7,327 per annum
We are seeking someone to assist in maintaining, developing and promoting the Definitive Map for Bridgend Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Countryside Access Maintenance Officer - Highways Services

Bridgend County Borough Council
£12,644 - £13,015 per annum
We are seeking someone to assist in ensuring that the local rights of way network is protected, well maintained and enjoyed... Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Principal Transport Officer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£37,320 to £40,198
The role will require close dialogue with developers and their agents and necessitate strong partnership working with District Councils... Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Project Engineer

North Yorkshire County Council
up to £33,136
Are you a qualified Highways Project Engineer? Would you like to work in the famous James Herriot area of natural beauty? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Officer Highways and Transport

North Yorkshire County Council
£28,2281 p.a.
Are you someone who is looking to progress their career with one of the most highly regarded highway services in the country? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Regional Strategy Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
Band 15 – up to £41,846
Are you an experienced Transport Planner? Do you have exceptional communication skills to build relationships within teams? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Area Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
up to £53,113 p.a. winter allowance plus 10% one off additional payment for exceptional candidates
Four Area Highway Managers roles available York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Transport Planning Officer – Major Development Applications

Somerset County Council
£33,136 to £37,107
We have a fantastic opportunity in Somerset within our Highways Development Management team. Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Communications Manager - North London Heat & Power Project

Camden London Borough Council
£40,028 to £46,431
We have an exciting new opportunity for an enthusiastic and talented individual to join us and be part of a team... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Commissioner for Passenger Transport Services

Somerset County Council
£45,216 per annum
You will be responsible for the development of long-term policy, strategy, plans and programmes for passenger transport Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Technician(s) / Assistant Engineer

Darlington Borough Council
£16,755 - £29,909 Annually
As part of a team you will be involved in the management and improvement of the highway network Darlington, Durham
Recuriter: Darlington Borough Council