Railnews Editorial Director Alan Marshal has today called for the restoration of the Stonebridge Railway, which he beleives “would transform rail travel in Central England and provide another ‘engine for growth’“.
Restoring a railway of 11.7 kilometres (7.3 miles) that last carried passengers 97 years ago can transform rail travel in central England — including linking directly with Birmingham Airport and the new high-speed railway, HS2 — and provide another ‘engine for growth.’Potentially, the railway would make train services from the existing rail network to Birmingham Airport directly accessible to more than eight million people in Central England and avoid the need to change trains at Birmingham New Street station. A recent study by Steer Davies Gleave found that 78 per cent of passengers who now travel to the airport by rail have to change trains in Birmingham.
But restoring the former railway would also make the HS2 Interchange much more accessible from the surrounding areas, including from Coventry, Nuneaton and Tamworth, as well as the Black Country and south and south west of Birmingham.
And once the HS2 ‘Y’ network is completed northwards, it would also give these areas direct links, via the Hub Interchange station, to High Speed Rail services to North West and North East England and to Scotland, as well as to London and the Continent, and air services from Birmingham Airport.
The report by Alan Marshall and Michael Byng also says the hub would “benefit considerably the economic activity and employment opportunities of the surrounding sub-region — principally comprising Solihull Borough, Coventry City, and the Warwickshire Districts of North Warwickshire, Nuneaton & Bedworth, and Warwick (including Leamington Spa and Kenilworth) — with a total population of 0.85 million.”
To find out more visit www.Railnews.co.uk
Railnews’ editorial director Alan Marshall highlights the growing need for extra rail capacity as passenger figures continue to rise.
Pressure on rail capacity continues — as annual passenger count sets 1.5 billion record
THE day before the High Court ruling that means planning for HS2 can proceed while consultation on compensation is re-run, another significant — but less publicized — announcement was made by the Office of Rail Regulation.
On 14 March the ORR published rail usage statistics showing that over 385 million passenger journeys were made on Britain’s railways in the third quarter of 2012-13 (1 October – 31 December 2012) – 14 million (3.8 per cent) more than the same period the year before.
The ORR said rail passenger usage was “at record levels” — but because of its tendency to work in financial rather than calendar years ORR omitted to give the total for 2012. But by adding together the figures for 2011-12’s Q4 with those for 2012-13’s Q1, 2 and 3, we find the total number of journeys in 2012 amounted to 1,508.8 million.
This is the first time the figure of 1.5 billion has been surpassed in a peacetime year since comparable records started 90 years ago, after the ‘Big Four’ railways were created in 1923 — when the network was much larger than it is today.
Passenger journeys, GB, annual data (above left)
Passenger:kilometres – EU comparison (above right)
It is also somewhat ironical that the latest figures have been published in the month marking the 50th anniversary of publication of Dr Beeching’s first report on ‘The Reshaping of Britain’s Railways’ — resulting in many branch line closures — which was followed by his second report on rationalizing the trunk lines, which lead to the closure of significant long-distance routes . . . including concentrating much traffic onto the West Coast Main Line
Of course, it is the WCML — and its southern section, in particular — for which HS2’s first stage to Birmingham and to Lichfield (where it will rejoin the existing main line to the North West and Scotland) is intended to provide relief in anticipation of the route becoming overloaded by the early 2020s.
The projections for the number of passengers likely to use HS2 and to justify its construction have been based on what HS2 Ltd’s chairman Douglas Oakervee calls “a very conservative estimate” of just two per cent per annum.
But in the past decade growth in passenger numbers has averaged 4.1 per cent.
In fact, the industry’s recently published future rolling stock strategy shows that rail passenger travel since privatization in 1997 has almost DOUBLED with a 91 per cent increase — the highest among all the principal European railways.
The scale of the problem ahead can be seen if we project forward last year’s total of 1.508 billion journeys.
If growth continues only at HS2’s “conservative” assumption of two per cent a year, the annual total will nevertheless reach 2 billion — a THIRD HIGHER than last year – by 2025, just before HS2 is due to open for business.
But if growth continues at the current rate of four per cent a year, the 2 billion total will be reached as early as 2020 — and by 2025 will surpass 2.5 billion passengers, TWO THIRDS MORE than last year.
No wonder Network Rail says HS2 is absolutely essential and that, without it, there is no Plan B.
The government has today won a landmark victory against what the DfT has called ”one of the biggest judicial reviews ever faced by a government“. 9 out of the 10 challenges brought against the government by localist anti HS2 groups were rejected in full by the judge.
The rejection of challenges by the judge gives the green light for the continued development of HS2 to the north. The only one challenge that was upheld will not have any affect on the planning and construction scheduled.
With regards to the compensation consultation the judge found: “the consultation process was unfair, because not enough information was provided to consultees and the criteria by which compensation options were considered were not adequately explained“. The ruling will mean that the government will have to consult again on property compensation, however this will not delay the of the depositing of hybrid bill in parliament later this year.
Rail Minister Simon Burns in responding to the ruling said: “This is a major landmark victory for HS2 and the future of Britain.” adding ”The judge has categorically given the green light for the government to press ahead without delay“.
This ruling is fantastic news for the UK, as it will allow the government to continue to develop a bold proposal which will generate £47bn of economic benefits for the UK economy and help to support the creation of 100,000 UK jobs.
HS2 will dramatically increase capacity between north and south which is vital for the continued development of the North and UK economy as a whole. The new line will also relieve pressure from 3 crucial UK main lines, this will allow for improved local, regional and freight services for many UK towns and cities.
North West business and transport leaders can now look forward to and begin to plan for HS2 services that will be calling at key towns and cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Crewe, Warrington and more from 2026, with the promise of increased capacity and reduced journey times.
The extension of the high-speed line from Birmingham to Manchester which is due for completion in 2033 will further slash journey times and dramatically increase intercity and regional rail capacity.
The information sheet bellow provides details of how the full HS2 Y network will benefit the North West.
An overly negative anti HS2 story published by the Independent on Sunday (10 March 13) claimed that HS2 will not benefit the North claiming “without a beefed-up rail infrastructure in the North, HS2 will not do anything to encourage businesses to move out of the capital”.
The claim which does not appear to be attributed to any rail or economic professional completely ignores a massive £500m scheme that will in fact “beef up” Northern rail infrastructure.
This massive oversight is at odds with the obvious effort the reporters have gone to in an attempt to smear the reputations of private companies involved in the development of the proposals. Surely a small amount of balanced journalistic research would have found that the North is set to benefit from the North Hub scheme, and a programme of widespread electrification.
The £500m Northern Hub scheme will benefit the East-West rail corridor connecting The North West, North East and East Midlands. Electrification, speed improvements and junction improvements will cut East-West journey times and vastly increase capacity.
Local/regional services departing such stations as Liverpool Lime St, Manchester Piccadilly and Leeds City will benefit from North Hub investment, in addition will benefit from arrivals/departures of HS2 services once phase 2 is complete
Network Rail’s proposal for Northern Hub improvements
Business and transport leaders from across the North West have always been clear that it is not a case of either/or – Northern Hub or HS2. For the region’s economy to continue to prosper both are needed.
The Independent article also ignores the fact that the second phase of HS2 to Manchester will itself provide a boost for local and regional services in the North West. By freeing up paths between the Stafford area and Manchester, rail planners will be able to provide improved services for passengers travelling between, Stoke-On-Trent, Crewe, Stockport and Manchester.
HS2 phase 2 will also release paths on the WCML for additional rail freight services, which will help to decrease the amount of lorries using the region’s congested roads. Freight capacity is seen as key for regional business leaders, who sight the expansion of Port Salford and Liverpool’s Post-Panamax port (Liverpool2) development as major drivers of demand for inter-modal freight in the future.
Yet again eagerness to publish a negative story regarding HS2 has highlighted the media’s negative bias toward the project and an unwillingness to provide balance and a factual account of the proposals.
WCML reliability is suffering like never before with Virgin West Coast services some of the least reliable in the country, capacity is running out and the line is being stretched to breaking point.
So it would seem the solution is simple — instead of spending £32bn over the next 20 years on building a new line the government should instead spend some of the money on upgrading and improving existing services.
This is the argument being made by those opposed to HS2, who continue to say that upgrades will deliver the capacity needed, yet fail even to mention reliability.
The cost would be substantial
Contrary to claims that upgrades would be cheaper and provide enough capacity there is plenty of evidence from history to suggest this simply wouldn’t be the case.
For example the £3bn 51M “optimised alternative” aims simply to address capacity issue on the WCML, yet despite this fails to provide much more capacity than is already in the pipeline currently as a result of the now-completed lengthening of Virgin Pendolinos to 11 carriages and the London Midland 110 project, due for completion in May 2014, which will speed up trains and free up additional West Coast paths at peak hours.
The £3bn cost of this “alternative” does not take into account renewals of track, signaling or the aging and problematic overhead line equipment.
The original “upgrade’ of the WCML, agreed by Railtrack PLC with Virgin Trains in 1997, went hopelessly over budget and led to the demise of Railtrack in October 2001. Responsibility for the infrastructure was taken over by Network Rail, which de-scoped the “upgrade” to a modernisation programme that, despite being massively scaled back, ended up costing £9bn (6 times over the original budget) [the original budget was £1.5bn, then rose to £2.4bn] and was not completed until the spring of 2009.
Despite this massive programme, one of the biggest engineering projects in Europe at the time, the modernisation of the WCML still continues as Network Rail tries to catch up on the items that were omitted from the “de-scoped” modernisation project.
For example, the delay in completing the power supply upgrade, deferred from the original PUG2 project in 2002, means that the current traction power supply constraint, which impacts on line speed and capability for WCML services on the busier parts of the route, will continue until the December 2017 timetable.
Years of Misery for a growing number of passengers
The 10 year, £9bn+ programme caused years of disruption for passengers and cost the taxpayer £600m in compensation payments to West Coast train operating companies alone. But disruption will continue as further improvements are made. For example, last Christmas the route was closed for several days for resignalling at Bletchley, and it will be similarly closed at Christmas 2014 for resignalling to be undertaken at Watford Junction.
Since the first stage of the WCML modernisation was completed in early 2009 with the introduction of the VHF (Virgin High Frequency) timetable and 125mph tilting Pendolino and Voyager services, the number of long-distance passengers using Virgin services alone has doubled.
Demand for the new services was so under-anticipated that the original specification for the Pendolino fleet was for some of the 51 trains to be just 8 carriages long, this was quickly altered to 9, and now in 2013 the majority of the Pendolino fleet, now increased to 55 train sets, is made up of 11 carriage trains (the longest that can fit within most WCML stations, including Liverpool Lime Street).
It is clear then that — with so many more passengers travelling now — any upgrade, which would take many years to complete, would cause disruption to far more passengers than the original modernisation programme between 1997 and 2009. Indeed, many of them would probably cease to travel by train if a long-term programme of disruptions was to be revived. But this would be inevitable if further major upgrades to the route, as opponents of HS2 call for, were to be accomplished. And even if upgrades were eventually implemented, the structure gauge would still be unable to cope with UIC GC-gauge trains, so it would still not be possible to operate high-capacity double-deck trains, and train lengths would continue to be restricted to around 250 metres, rather than the 400-metre sets that are planned for HS2.
Point of no return
Let’s say the government did cancel HS2 today, and decided to spend a portion of the cost on upgrading the WCML. Even if we assumed that some upgrade projects were shovel ready today the upgrade of the WCML could still take over 10 years.
The 10-year long and highly disruptive upgrading of track, signals and stations is hardly likely to be completed any sooner — because of the time taken to plan design and authorise individual projects — than HS2’s planned opening to the West Midlands in 2026.
A recent report published by Chris Gibb for Network Rail suggested that, just to do the outstanding work needed between Watford Junction and Euston (where the route has not been significantly attended to for at least 90 years, other than having electrification installed in the 1960s) would take 5 – 10 years on the basis of closing the whole route (except the DC lines) every Saturday and Sunday night. Closures and possessions would be needed across the Network to renew ageing overhead line equipment and signalling, while using only weekend closures would take many years.
Negative impacts of the 51M “optimised alternative”
Part of the proposals suggested by 51M in order to increase capacity and to make the most of the paths available on the WCML, would be to replace the entire fleet of Desiros currently operated by London Midland, with 125mph tilting commuter trains.
However, the problem with specifying 125mph tilting commuter trains is, firstly no such high density tilting train exists and secondly by tilting the trains and operating them at higher speed they will cause the tracks and OLE to wear out more quickly.
The existing 30 class 350/1 Desiro trains are now able to operate at 110mph, and more class 350/3 units are now on order, also capable of 110mph. A Desiro only weighs in at 0.74 tonnes per seat, whereas an 11-car Pendolino weighs 0.96 tonnes per seat — 30% more, due mostly to the extra weight of the tilting mechanism.
An additional 0.22 tonnes per seat may not seem a great deal, but operating 16 trains an hour during peak at 125mph will lead to the need for an increasing amount of repairs and renewals. And as we’ve seen the sections which would see the most use are also the most difficult to maintain.
It is little wonder, then, that Sir David Higgins, Chief Executive of Network Rail, has said that the southern section of the WCML is being “pounded” and by 2026 will be “trashed.”
One important point to end with is that we have only discussed the continued maintenance and upgrade of the southern sections of the WCML, but of course the full £32bn HS2 project would benefit the East Coast, West Coast and Midland Main Lines.
The cost of the first phase of HS2 to the West Midland, to be completed in 2026, is projected to be £17bn and will benefit the very sections of track highlighted. So the suggestion that the debate is simple, and upgrades are better value for money and could be completed sooner, is flawed to say the least.
Railnews’ editorial director Alan Marshall makes the case for building HS2 after the latest disruption on the West Coast Main Line.
IT was another hugely frustrating weekend for travellers on Europe’s busiest trunk railway line — England’s West Coast Main Line — with journeys extended by up to two hours as passengers had to ride on buses between Milton Keynes and Rugby . . . a journey that should take little more then 20 minutes by train.
But this was not because of planned engineering work for route modernization, as happened for many years past, but because of the collapse on Friday 1 March of a section of the overhead line equipment (OHLE) (pictured bellow) at Hanslope, Bucks,providing 25kV ac electric powerto the trains on one of the busiest sections of Britain’s busiest route . . . the same line that opponents of the proposed High Speed Two project claim should be carrying even more trains!
Politicians (and HS2 opposers) like to say that £9 billon of taxpayers’ money has been invested in ‘upgrading’ the West Coast Main Line. But they forget that the original upgrade plan was totally botched and led to the demise of Railtrack PLC. The scheme that was originally projected to cost £1.5 billion was in danger of surpassing £20 billion by the time Tony Blair’s government put Railtrack into administration in October 2001, replacing it with the not-for-dividend company, Network Rail.
Together with the then Strategic Rail Authority — later absorbed by Alistair Darling into the Department for Transport — Network Rail ‘de-scoped’ the upgrade into what became known as the West Coast Route Modernization (WCRM) programme.
De-scoping simply meant that elements of the original project were left out of the revised programme, to save money and keep the total cost below £10 billion. And one of the items omitted was a substantial amount of the proposed upgrade to the electrification infrastructure and the power supply.
Wrong components purchased
A recent report for the Office of Rail Regulation by Virgin Trains’ chief operating officer, Chris Gibb, identified some of the consequences of the de-scoping, including the installation of ‘neutral sections’ within the OHLE that were not the right ones for the job. As a result, equipment designed to be used with trains operating below 160km/h (100mph) was installed on a railway on which up to ten Virgin Pendolino tilting electric trains run each way every hour at 200km/h (125mph) — and since last December the route is also now used by 4-car London Midland ‘Desiro’ trains that have been accelerated to 175km/h (110mph).
Chris Gibb’s report stated: “It appears that the West Coast Route Modernisation project team were more focused on within-budget/on-time delivery of the project than the medium/long-term component performance, and this approach has clearly cost NR and the industry dearly in terms of poor performance.”
The huge WCML disruption on 1 March resulted from the OHLE collapsing as a London Midland train passed beneath it near Hanslope Junction. Network Rail has not yet said what may have caused it — although TV news pictures showed two pantographs lying beside the track, apparently ripped off trains after becoming entangled in the overhead wiring — but there had been two similar events recently, on the Midland Main Line at Radlett, Herts, and on the East Coast Main Line near St Neots, Beds, both of which were blamed by Network Rail on faulty components.
Electric trains at present are not normally allowed to run in Britain above 160km/h (100mph) with more than one pantograph in contact with the OHLE — but a fortnight ago London Midland and Network Rail carried out trials with 12-car Desiro trains (3 x 4-car units coupled together) running at 175km/h, requiring pantographs on all three units to be raised to collect the electric current. London Midland said the need to restrict its trains above 160km/h to four coaches, using just one pantograph, had “led to crowding on a number of our Birmingham/Crewe to London services which can only have four carriages when using the ‘fast’ lines between Rugby/Milton Keynes and London.”
London Midland added: “To enable 8 and 12 carriage trains to operate at 110mph (175km/h), a new ‘high speed’ pantograph is required, and a week-long programme of tests — which has included the installation of hi-tech monitoring equipment and roof-mounted cameras on three trains — is taking place over the 18-22 February half term period when commuter numbers are slightly lower.”
It is clear from Alan’s piece that there are severe reliability problems on the WCML, his piece though has prompted those opposed to HS2 to argue that more should be spent on upgrading the WCML rather than building HS2. However a proposed alternative to HS2 produced by the 51M group of local councils opposing HS2 would simply see an increased number of heavier and faster trains replacing London Midland’s current fleet of Desiros.
The so called “51M optimised alternative” would cost of over £3bn yet this figure fails to even factor in costs for renewals and upgrades of overhead line and trackside equipment.
A report commissioned by HS2 North West questions the affect the 51M “optimised alternative” would have on reliability of the WCML, to which no answer has yet been provided by any anti HS2 organisation promoting the ”optimised alternative”.
TfL forecasts that passenger arrivals at Euston in the three-hour morning peak are set to rise from 23,500 in 2009 to 57,000 in 2033, the year in which HS2 is due to be completed, adding further weight to HS2 forecasts that suggest we need to build a new high speed line for capacity and because passenger figures will continue to rise.
Claims in the Financial times that “Second Crossrail line seen as vital for HS2” and “Euston can’t cope with HS2 influx” from the Evening Standard were repeated by HS2 opposition leaders, despite these claims flying in the face counter claims from HS2 opponents that “no one will use HS2”.
It would seem there is some confusion from the anti camp as to whether anyone will use HS2, or whether it will be heavily used, confirming DfT passenger forecasts. What is clear though is that TfL fully agree with Dft passenger forecasts for HS2 — although not originally via Euston.
What wasn’t so clear though was the fact that HS2 isn’t the main driver behind the need for a new line, as route safeguards for what is being called Crossrail 2 are already in place and Transport for London has been wanting to construct a new north-south line for some time.
Route of the Crossrail 2 as proposed by Transport for London
One of the main drivers of the need for a new cross-London line extending into the North East and South West suburbs is the chronic overcrowding on long-distance routes and suburban services into Waterloo – these come ahead only of the Euston suburban services in the league table of routes for which no action is already in hand to reduce overcrowding. It would also relieve the Victoria and Piccadilly lines, heavily crowded despite over £1bn a year being spent on Tube upgrades in a bid to increase capacity.
Another key reason a new line is needed, TfL say is because London’s population is due to increase by 1.5 million over the next 20 years, with an 30% increase in passenger numbers using the Tube over the next 10 years.
Of course Transport for London is well within its rights to sight HS2 as part of the need for a new North-south line, after all TfL will want to pull out all the stops to secure funding and safeguard route via Euston. But Crossrail 2 is needed now to cope with growing demand within London, compared with which additional demand generated by HS2 is small. For HS2 opponents to claim that the cost of Crossrail 2 should be added to the cost of HS2 is misleading in the extreme, since Crossrail 2 will be required in any event and shows poor understanding of the issues.
Since the release of the details of the routes North of the West Midlands anti-HS2 campaigners have been keen to resurrect old myths in a bid to once gain begin to scare and mislead concerned local residents along the line of route. Once long since quashed myth was that HS2 will require a “70 metre wide vegetation clearance” zone.
Bellow are some details upon which this myth is loosely based in order to clear this myth up once again.
The official document states:
“Consideration has been given at this stage for using up to 25m clearance on each side of the route for landscaping, vegetation plantings, etc.“
It is important to point out that it does not mean clearance of vegetation rather clearance for vegetation. This will entail planting of new vegetation after the line is completed along with the planting of 2 millions new trees. re-planting will be decided on a case by case basis and decisions will not be made on the basis of clearing vegetation but to re-plant vegetation that minimised leaf fall and intrusion onto the line etc.
The ‘Appraisal of Sustainability’ states:
“Rail corridor: the rail corridor would accommodate two tracks with a fence to fence width of 22m for an at-grade railway (reduced to 15m where space is restricted) to allow for the inclusion of access tracks, etc. Consideration has been given at this stage for using up to 25m clearance on each side of the route for landscaping, vegetation plantings, etc. In practice space requirements would be determined for each location, depending on mitigation requirements and whether the line was in cutting or on embankment. A more detailed corridor proposal would be developed following an assessment of vegetation along the perimeter of the proposed line of route in conjunction with third parties to assess the impact of ‘leaf fall’ on the operation of the railway and on any desired planting arrangements“
The only explanation given thus far by anti-HS2 campaigners as to why clearance would be required, is that High Speed trains would create vortices which would “suck up vegetation”.
“Vortices” a bizarre claim that can be easily dismissed with this crucial footage of a TGV travelling at 357mph (571Km/h) past vegetation .
To add to this, critics often state that HS2 will be “wider than a motorway”. However if we apply same math used by critics to a motorway we see that the same “clearance” would produce a motorway that requires a width of at least 86 meters. Given that there is no valid reason for a “no vegetation zone” for a high speed rail line we can assume that a new motorway would require the same “clearance” for vegetation.
The average UK motorway is 36m wide, in contrast the HS2 track bed will be 22m wide or less. This includes space for an access road and track side equipment.
It cannot be over emphasised enough that there will be vegetation in one form or another up to the fencing line and that all efforts will be made to mitigate visual and sound impacts, which include tunnels, green tunnels, deep cuttings, visual and sound barriers and the planting of 2 millions trees.
The images of HS1, the first high-speed line in the UK show the level of vegetation that will be planted right up to the track side.
It has always been the assertion of those opposed to HS2 that the only people who will use the new line will be the minority “fat cats” and commuters, earning £70,000 per year,
To begin with it should be explained that £70,000 isn’t the actual average income projected for HS2 business passengers. In fact it is the best guess of anti HS2 campaigners using the average valuation of time given to all rail users for calculating the benefits of rail schemes. The average value of time given to rail passengers travelling for business purposes is £39.65 an hour before tax deductions at 2009 prices.
Even using the 2009 average value of time for business passengers, this still returns an after tax income of around £44,000.
1.7 million UK tax payers out of a total of 29 million earn over £50,000 before tax per year, so are not quite a “small minority”.
So those saying that all HS2 commuters are “fat cats” in doing so are guilty of accusing all rail passengers of being “fat cats”. The soon to be electrified Great Western Main Line, for which the business case to electrify the line used the same assumptions as HS2, or those travelling on the Midland Main Line which is also set to be electrified, those opposed to HS2 in calling HS2 passengers “fat cats” are also inferring that all business passengers travelling on rail are also “fat cats”
If those oppose to HS2 are to be believed the 30 million passengers using Virgin services each year are all “fat cats” earning £70,000 a year.
It’s not that simple though….
We do know that things aren’t that simple, for example based on current trends HS2 Ltd predicts that only 30% of those using HS2 will be doing so for business, which leaves 70% using HS2 for discretionary purposes, such as tourism or simply visiting family and friends.
And as for the 70% of passengers using HS2 for discretionary purposes, HS2 puts Liverpool 1 for example one of the largest retail centres in Europe on the doorstep of London, at just 1 hour 36 minutes away, more than quick enough to make the trip from London to Liverpool in an afternoon. Also Liverpool now has it’s own cruise terminal with a growing list of departures, HS2 will therefore bring Liverpool’s terminal as close to London as Southampton is currently.
Other cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds also have a huge amount to tempt southerners north, so put simply it won’t be a case of London becoming a vacuum for northern wealth, in fact HS2 will make the north a lot more attractive to those from the south, Europe and beyond.
But what is wrong with “fat cats”?
If we do work on the limited and misleading premiss that all HS2 users will be a minority of “fat cats” commuting from the North to London we can begin to think about what this could do for northern economies.
Would the economy of the north suffer if the region were inhabited by those earning £70,000 per year? Those working hard to earn such a wage rarely have much spare time, so more often than not they will employ people who provide services such as cleaning, gardening etc.
Gardening and cleaning are no low wage, low skilled jobs, no people providing these services, such as cleaners working in the north often self employed can earn over £7 an hour, whilst and experience garden should expect to earn at least 10 to 15 pound per hour.
Hard working employees also like to spend what little free time they have enjoying themselves, therefore can be found frequenting local bars, restaurants and pubs. With the hospitality industry employing almost 2 million people. across the country and is an important part of the nation’s economy.
So even if HS2 all passengers were “fat cats” commuting to and from London, it certainly wouldn’t be the case that the towns/villages in which they lived suffered, on the contrary a town with large number of high-income families will benefit from them simply living in the area.
There is a further point of irony in all this too, with Buckinghamshire a wealthy part of the country owing a lot of it’s wealth to the many commuters for whom living in the Buckinghamshire country side and commuting to London for work is all part of a privileged lifestyle choice.
Letter to the Warrington Guardian outlining how the town will benefit from HS2 services post 2032.
Contrary to claims that Warrington will miss out after the construction of second phase of HS2 from the West Midlands to the north, HS2 North West can confirm that the town will not miss out on HS2 services
WCML user and supporter of HS2, David Thrower tells us:
“Although the new route burrows beneath Crewe station and then, after a junction near the M56, swings north-eastwards to the Airport and then in tunnel to Ardwick, surfacing to terminate at Piccadilly, another extension reaches northwards and extends up to near Wigan. Connecting lines at Crewe and at Wigan will enable the planned supertrains to leave the new line and join the existing West Coast Main Line.
And that’s the important bit for many North West England (and Scottish) residents.
Because these through trains, after coming from the south at 225mph, will then be able to continue at a lower speed on existing tracks, to serve many other key centres. This aspect has been widely misunderstood or overlooked by much of the media and public.
For example, Warrington Bank Quay will involve just 15 minutes’ travel over existing lines after leaving the new line south of Crewe, which will mean the town will see journey times from the South cut by half an hour.”
The map bellow highlights how Warrington will benefit from HS2 phase 2 (click to enlarge)
This has been confirmed by HS2 Ltd who pointed out there are fact sheets detailing how HS2 phase 2 will benefit Merseyside and Cheshire. http://www.hs2.org.uk/sites/default/files/inserts/cheshire_rfs.pdf
The construction of HS2 is essential as it will address the capacity constraints that face the West Coast Main Line. Network Rail say that by the mid 2020s the West Coast corridor, which is vital for the North West economy will be completely full, with no simple or cheap solutions available for increasing capacity beyond that available today.
The benefits of extending the line North to serve Liverpool and other key towns and cities such as Runcorn will provide an exceptional boost for the region’s economy. The wider economic benefits are estimated to be £44bn, with 60,000 jobs created.
Commenting on the release of details of the route to the North West Susan Williams director of the North West Rail Campaign said: “This is fantastic news for the North West- connectivity will be crucial in growing our economy, connecting people with jobs and cities with each other”