FOR ARCHIVE USE ONLY: HS2 Ltd Consultation Blog

This blog publicised the public consultation, which ran February to July 2011

The context for High Speed Rail

The Government believes that a national high speed rail network offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the way we travel in Britain.

High speed railways were first built in Japan in the 1960s, and now span countries across Europe and Asia. Britain cannot afford to be left behind.

The Capacity Challenge: Britain’s rail network is seeing a continuing pattern of steeply rising demand. As a result, rail capacity is under increasing strain and services are growing more crowded. For Britain and its major cities to compete effectively in the 21st century, it is vital that the right infrastructure is in place.

Between 1994/95 and 2009/10, total passenger miles travelled rose from 18 billion to almost 32 billion. The fastest growth of all has been in demand for long distance travel, which continued to rise even through the recent recession. The total number of long distance journeys made more than doubled in the period from 1994/95 to 2009/10. This growth is forecast to continue and Network Rail’s assessment is that by 2024 the West Coast Main Line will be full. High levels of demand growth are also expected on the East Coast and Midland Main Lines.

Britain needs a rail network which matches its growing ambitions:

  • Enabling rising numbers of passengers to be comfortably accommodated;
  • Improving the speed, convenience and reliability of links between our major cities and international gateways;
  • Supporting sustainable growth – given the UK’s Climate Change commitments; and
  • Keeping pace with developments in other countries.
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Written by HS2 Ltd

May 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Posted in General

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