Further written evidence from Dr Sandra
Tuppen (HSR 182A)|
Further to my earlier submission (Submission 182),
I should like to make the following additional observations, and
would be most grateful if these and the accompanying attachment
concerning the impact of HS2 on Liverpool's services could be
treated as supplementary evidence.
I note that in his evidence to the Transport Committee
last week, Mr Tony Page of West Coast Rail 250 was at pains to
stress the benefits that HS2 would bring from Day 1 to users of
the West Coast Main Line (WCML).
I should like to draw the attention of the Committee
to HS2 Ltd's own "Day 1 Train Service Assumptions for
Demand Modelling", published in December 2009 but not
included among the 2011 consultation documents. This document
provides a set of assumptions as to how passenger services could
be configured on HS2 and the existing WCML after HS2 is built.
HS2 Ltd stresses that this is not a timetable but a set of assumptions
used to model likely passenger demand across the two lines. In
it they seek to address "the potential use of capacity that
is released on existing routes".
Although services could undoubtedly be configured
in ways other than in this document, its importance, I think,
lies in the principle that seems to underpin both it and indeed
the whole HS2 strategy.
This could be summarised as follows:
would connect key cities of the UK, freeing up line capacity on
the WCML for more local and regional trains to run.
WCML line capacity is freed up by transferring long-distance services
from the WCML to HS2, ie by removing some long-distance services
from the WCML.
services will call at major cities only, so some towns currently
served by long-distance WCML services will not receive HS2 services
and many will face a worsening of classic services when WCML long-distance
services are withdrawn.
Some existing WCML long-distance services will clearly
have to be retained if those towns not served by HS2 are to remain
on the network. Many towns will, however, suffer a reduced service,
either in terms of number of trains per hour or journey times.
After all, if all existing WCML long distance services were retained
exactly as they are today, in parallel with HS2, there would be
no spare line capacity for any new local or regional services
on the WCML.
In other words, one town's gain is another's loss:
you cannot pour a quart into a pint pot.
Journey times on classic Pendolino services between
London and the following destinations would be longer, in HS2
Ltd's model, as the residual WCML long-distance services would
call at more stations:
Liverpool (+1 hour)
Runcorn (+1 hour)
Stafford (+1 hour)
Crewe (+0 to +1 hour)
Glasgow (+30 mins)
Carlisle (+30 mins)
Penrith (+30 mins)
Oxenholme (+25 mins)
Lancaster (+20 mins)
Wolverhampton (+10 mins)
Sandwell & Dudley (+10 mins)
Birmingham New Street (+10 mins)
Birmingham International (+10 mins)
Coventry (+10 mins)
Rugby (+5-10 mins)
In HS2 Ltd's model, the following stations on the
WCML would also suffer a reduced number of services per hour:
Coventry (3 tph reduced to 1tph)
Birmingham International (3 tph reduced to 1tph)
Birmingham New Street (3 tph reduced to 1 tph)
Stoke on Trent (2 tph reduced to 1tph)
(Coventry and Stoke have been mentioned by other
commentators but I am not sure the reduction in services to New
St have been noted.) It would interesting to know whether these
negative impacts have been taken account of in the HS2 business
The attached brief paper shows the potential effects
on Liverpool's services of HS2 Ltd's service assumptions, which
divert Liverpool's classic Pendolino services via Birmingham and
lead to a reduction in viable passenger capacity, post-HS2.
HS2 AND REDUCTIONS
1.1 In its high-speed rail consultation document
the Government stated that HS2 would enable journey times between
London and Liverpool to be reduced from 2hrs 08m to 1hr 37m, and
would provide a significant increase in passenger capacity on
all long-distance services.
1.2 However, HS2 Ltd's Technical Appendix(i)
suggests that although HS2 would provide an increase in off-peak
capacity for London-Liverpool passengers, it would not provide
them with a viable increase in capacity at peak times, Instead
fewer peak time seats on the HS2 London-Liverpool service than
will be available in 2012; and
one hour to journey times on the London-Liverpool Pendolino service
by routing it via Birmingham.
2. Peak time intercity trains from 2012
By December 2012, two Pendolinos per hour will operate
at peak times on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) between London
and Liverpool, the trains having been lengthened from 9 to 11
cars and providing 589 seats each (ie 1,178 seats per hour).
3. Peak time HS2 trains from 2026
If HS2 goes ahead as proposed, between 2026 and 2033
two HS2 classic compatible trains per hour would run all day between
London and Liverpool, partly on the HS2 Phase 1 line between London
and Lichfield and partly on the WCML classic line between Lichfield
and Liverpool, taking 1hr 50m (a saving of 18 mins). HS2 Ltd states
that each train would have 550 seats (ie 1,100 seats per hour).
4. Peak time HS2 trains from 2033
From 2033, with the extension of the high-speed line
to Manchester, one of the two London-Liverpool trains per hour
would run via Warrington, completing its journey from Warrington
to Liverpool on the classic line and further reducing the London-Liverpool
journey time by 13 minutes to 1hr 37m. The second train would
still take 1hr 50m, as it would have to continue to use the WCML
beyond Lichfield in order to call at Stafford, Crewe and Runcorn.
The number of London-Liverpool seats would remain at 1,100 per
hour in total.
5. Withdrawal of existing London-Liverpool
intercity service from 2026
5.1 HS2 could have provided Liverpool with an
increase in capacity at peak times were it not that, in order
to meet the Government's strategic goal of freeing up space for
more commuter and regional services on the southern part of the
WCML, HS2 Ltd proposes that the existing Liverpool-London intercity
service should be withdrawn in 2026. Instead, the London-Birmingham
New Street service (operated today by Virgin) and Birmingham-Liverpool
service (operated by London Midland) would be combined to form
a single through service between London and Liverpool via Birmingham
New St. This would free up two paths on the southern end of the
WCML at peak times for new suburban services, but would leave
the journey time of the intercity service between London and Liverpool
lengthened by one hour.
5.2 HS2 Ltd describes this "residual"
intercity service as follows:
Residual West Coast Euston-Birmingham-Wolverhampton
service, serving all intermediate stations currently served by
Virgin Pendolino services. Service doubles as a Birmingham-Liverpool
fast service, providing Wolverhampton with a fast link to Crewe
and the north, and replacing an existing London Midland Birmingham-Liverpool
5.3 With a journey time between London Euston
and Liverpool Lime Street of 3hrs 10m, and 12 stops en route,
this projection represents a severe downgrading of the existing
intercity service between Liverpool and London, currently with
between two and four stops en route. It seems unlikely that business
passengers (or indeed many leisure travellers) will wish to spend
an additional hour travelling, so the only viable services for
most people travelling between London and Liverpool will be the
two HS2 services per hour, containing a total of 1,100 seats per
houra reduction of 78 seats on the 1,178 seats that will
be available from the two peak-hour 11-car Pendolinos from 2012.
This decrease comes despite a forecast increase in demand on the
5.4 Passengers travelling between London and
Runcorn would also face a reduction in viable capacity in HS2
Ltd's scenario. From 2012 they will be served by two Pendolinos
per hour at peak times, each with 589 seats. From 2026 they would
be served by one HS2 train per hour (550 seats), plus the Pendolino
routed via Birmingham, taking one hour longer than today.
6. Impact on freed up WCML capacity
6.1 With the removal of the two peak time
direct London-Liverpool Pendolino services and extension to Liverpool
of two existing London-Birmingham services per hour, two peak
time slots on the southern WCML would be freed for new suburban
services between London and Northampton. HS2 Ltd's model of likely
passenger demand on the WCML after HS2 indicates that it would
be possible to free two further peak time slots per hour by withdrawing
one of the existing London-Birmingham Pendolino services and one
London-Manchester Pendolino service. In this scenario, the building
of HS2 would thus free up just four peak time slots on the southern
end of the WCML for new services.
6.2 This in itself seems a meagre return for
such a huge investment. Its reliance on the removal of two London-Liverpool
services for half of these freed slots has, as far as I am aware,
not been noted by other commentators.
(1) HS2 Ltd: Technical
Appendix, Appendix 2: Day 1 Train Service Assumptions for Demand
Modelling (including use of Released Capacity), Service C,
London-Liverpool (High Speed), pp. 11, 20 and Service J, London-Birmingham-Wolverhampton-Liverpool,
pp 17, 21. URL:
(second appendix in this publication).
12 September 2011