Saturday, 12 November 2011

HS2: alternative routes

Turmoil ahead for the government according to the article in the Daily Telegraph:

The alternative route being proposed will result in as little as ten minutes being saved on London-Birmingham journeys, so of little use.  The only significant benefit from either the route being pushed by the government or the proposed alternative will be for passengers to/from Manchester and Leeds.

My concern is that HS2 will add to the gravitational pull of the Great Wen.   I acknowledge that extra capacity is needed on some routes, but consideration should be given to promoting other options than HS2, for instance re-opening the old Great Central route from Rugby to London and linking it with the old LNWR lines, re-opening the Bedford- Northampton line, re-opening the Woodhead route to provide a link between Manchester and Sheffield and onwards to either Kings Cross or St Pancras, extending all St Pancras-Sheffield trains to Leeds.

I have argued before that many travellers would be prepared to pay less and take longer to travel, particularly if guaranteed a seat. 

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