High Speed Rail - Transport Committee Contents

Written evidence from David Thrower (HSR 42)


1.  Rail passenger use is rapidly growing. Between 1994-95 and 2009-10, total passenger miles on the main line (Network Rail) system rose from 18 billion to nearly 32 billion (+78%). The total number of long-distance journeys by rail more than doubled between 1994-95 and 2009-10. Some of the UK's key rail routes, including the WCML, are forecast to be completely full in peak hours in the next 20 years. (source: Department for Transport). Further growth on London-Manchester services alone is expected to be 60% by 2024 (source: Network Rail). Long distance travel (all modes) in the UK is forecast to increase 46% by 2033. Key drivers are income, regional interdependence, employment, land-use, and population increases.

2.  Although total freight moved on the UK rail system has fallen (freight moved in 2009-10 was down 7.6% on 2008-09), this is due mainly to a sharp fall in coal tonne-kilometres moved (mainly in the North and Scotland), and a small reduction in oil and petroleum. However, even during the economic recession, several elements of rail freight (including flows in the South of England and WCML) have steadily increased. For example, in 2009-10, domestic intermodal freight grew 6.5%, metals by 6.8%, international freight by 5.7% and construction by 3.0%, compared with 2008-09 (source: Office of Rail Regulation).

3.  The need for greater and more reliable north-south transport capacity is already apparent, and deferral will only result in the problems of future rail congestion having to be re-addressed at a later date, possibly at greater ultimate expense.

4.  The solution of providing wholly new high-speed rail capacity is well established in many other countries. There is nothing about the UK that makes it a specially-unsuited case for such a solution, and indeed, as a "crowded island", the need is arguably all the greater. The need for high speed rail has already been grasped with the successful Channel Tunnel Rail Link (now known as High Speed 1).

5.  High Speed 2 is not just about providing greater capacity and shorter journey times for long-distance travel. The southern end of the WCML already conveys a contradictory cocktail of non-stop, semi-fast and stopping passenger trains plus heavy freight trains, and further growth in all these sectors is anticipated. The Midland Main Line and East Coast Main line face similar problems. Strong growth in demand for WCML capacity is expected to continue, and growth by 2036 on the Midland Main Line and East Coast Main Line is expected to be more than 70% greater (source: Network Rail), with even higher growth on specific services. Population and housing growth will be additional key drivers, but the need for increased freight capacity is also critical.

6.  HS2 will be the M1 motorway of the rail network. Because of the long lead time in creating a full high speed rail network over the next two decades, starting with the HS2 London-Birmingham/Lichfield section of HS2, a firm resolution to proceed needs to be taken now. This will constitute an historic decision.

7.  This submission:

—  Deals with the Committee's questions in the order that they set them.

—  Briefly summarizes some recent support for High Speed 2 (Appendix I).

—  Sets out some of the policy backdrop to High Speed 2 (Appendix II).

—  Summarizes other High Speed Rail route study findings (Appendix III).


8.  In the 1960s, as demand for travel increased, rail capacity on the UK's north-south axis was paradoxically severely cut back. In the past 15-17 years, these serious transport planning errors in terms of lost capacity and services have been belatedly realised. Some £9 billion was invested in upgrading the West Coast route, with accompanying upgrading of the Chiltern route. Although this significantly improved these routes, it has still not led to a commensurate increase in capacity on the WCML, which retains significant inherent problems, particularly in accommodating traffics of varying speeds and stopping patterns.

9.  Attempting to squeeze more and more services conveying different traffics of varying speeds onto an already very busy railway will gradually act against the growth of each, and against many Government policies.

10.  The WCML route's speeds on the urban approaches to cities also remain particularly low. Timetabling fast and semi-fast passenger services, commuter services, stopping services and freight, to provide for anticipated growth, is already extremely challenging, and will progressively become impossible without adverse effects upon customers, including logistics firms. The prospects (without HS2) are for increased overcrowding and a gradual worsening of all services.

11.  The Government's HS2 proposals, for a 335-mile Y-shaped network will:

—  Restore the rail capacity previously lost from Britain's north-south axis, providing adequate resources for future generations' needs.

—  Assist in rebalancing the UK economy, encouraging investment in the Midlands and North, improving accessibility, aiding efficiency and the ability to move freight reliably (on the classic network) and providing sustainable transport for a very significant proportion of the UK population.

—  Provide a 21st-century-standards high speed link to connect the majority of the UK's major Midlands and northern cities—either directly or with onward running—to London and the South East, to Heathrow and to Scotland (at a later stage) and to High Speed 1 and the European high speed rail network.


Issues identified by the Committee are summarized in turn below, with brief answers.

How Does HSR Fit In With Government Transport Policy Objectives?

12.  How does improving inter-urban connectivity compare in importance to other transport policy objectives/spending programmes?—HS2 fits in extremely well with other programmes. It will greatly improve UK inter-urban connectivity, essential to the efficient functioning of the UK economy. A very significant proportion of population and economic activity is centred upon the major English and Scottish (and Welsh) urban areas, and it is this which is threatened by serious and growing inter-urban (and urban) highway congestion and the new and growing phenomena of rail congestion. HS2 will give much of the national rail network the capacity it needs to accommodate additional passengers and freight.

13.  For speed, critics have claimed that HS2 will reduce journeys by "only a few minutes". This is factually incorrect. The following journey times will be achieved by the full "Y" network to Manchester and Leeds, of which the London-Birmingham/Lichfield section in consultation during 2011 forms the first, essential, phase:

—  London-Birmingham, cut from 84mins to 49mins.

—  London-Manchester, cut from 128mins to 80mins.

—  London-Liverpool, cut from 130mins to 96mins.

—  London-Sheffield, cut from 129mins to 75mins.

—  London-Leeds, cut from 140mins to 80mins.

—  London-Newcastle, cut from 189mins to 157mins.

—  London-Glasgow/Edinburgh, cut from 270mins to 210mins (source: HS2Co).

14.  In addition to dramatically improving London-Birmingham/Manchester/Leeds journey times, HS2, when extended to Manchester and Leeds, will offer major reductions in journey times between Midlands/Northern city regions, compared with 2011 times. Examples are Birmingham-Manchester, cut from 95 minutes to 54 minutes (reduction of 43%) and Birmingham-Leeds, cut from 120 minutes to 65 minutes (reduction of 46%). This will bring further user/regeneration benefits.

15.  HS2 will also dramatically improve connectivity between WCML locations and Heathrow Airport, Crossrail (including the West End, City and Canary Wharf), and High Speed 1 and the Channel Tunnel. Interchange with Crossrail will (with one change) bring Manchester within just over 100mins of Canary Wharf, compared with 170-180mins today. Also, a regular direct UK-regions-to-Europe train service, perhaps Birmingham-Stratford-Ashford-Lille-Paris, would become a realistic potential option.

16.  What would be the implications of HSR expenditure on the "classic" network?—Concern has been expressed by critics that the classic network could be neglected. But there is no evidence of this to date in recent Coalition Government announcements. In contrast, there has been a recent succession of major infrastructure project announcements (North West electrification, Great Western electrification, Reading re-modelling, Birmingham New Street reconstruction, Swindon-Kemble doubling, Ordsall Curve, Nuneaton chord, Hitchin flyover). The Midland Main Line electrification north of Bedford is awaiting progress with the HS2 consultation exercise, but an early start on simultaneous MML electrification during GW electrification (or vice versa) was always unlikely anyway.

17.  Vitally, construction of HS2 will offer a major boost to the classic network, by freeing-up capacity on the latter for:

—  Greatly-improved semi-fast services serving important intermediate centres such as (on the WCML) Crewe, Stafford, Lichfield, Tamworth, Rugby, Northampton and Milton Keynes, (on the Midland Main Line) Leicester, Kettering, and (on the ECML and associated routes) Doncaster, Retford, Newark, Grantham, Peterborough, Hull, Lincoln and Cambridge.

—  Additional commuter stopping services from important intermediate stations southwards from Rugby/Northampton, Kettering, Peterborough, Cambridge.

—  Wholly new services such as Milton Keynes-Aylesbury-London.

—  Improved half-hourly frequencies on existing stopping services such as Milton Keynes-Watford-Olympia-Clapham Junction-East Croydon and services in the Midlands such as Northampton-Coventry-Birmingham and Trent Valley stopping services, plus better local services on the Stafford-Crewe-Stockport-Manchester, Stoke-Stockport-Manchester and Sheffield-Leeds corridors.

—  Greatly-improved regular-interval links between local intermediate WCML, MML and ECML stations, eg as Rugby, Stafford, Newark, Doncaster.

—  More CrossCountry services from the South and South-West to the North-West/North-East.

—  Additional domestic (UK) freight services from Southampton, Thamesport and Haven Ports to the Midlands, North and Scotland, and services from other terminals.

—  Additional international freight services via the Channel Tunnel.

18.  It is notable that the above includes very significant intermediate beneficiaries along the present London-Birmingham corridor. That HS2 will not call between Birmingham Interchange and Old Oak Common does not mean that no location between Birmingham and London will benefit—quite the reverse. As explained above, there will be similar local beneficiaries all along the London-Nottingham/Derby (Midland) and the London-Leeds/York (ECML) corridors.

19.  Planning for HS2 is already well-integrated with that for the classic network, with the 2010 Network Rail Draft Route Utilisation Strategy including the following:

—  "Continued development of HS2 between London and Birmingham, and then to Manchester and Leeds, to release fast-line capacity on the classic WCML for additional commuter and other services".

—  "Provision of additional fast peak commuter and off-peak long-distance 'classic' services, including additional capacity into London Euston".

20.  Work by Greengauge 21 has identified the opportunity for two new semi-fast regular-interval hourly (combined half-hourly) classic WCML services, bringing new travel and connectional facilities to a number of significant towns that at present have poor WCML services (with no other hope of improvement):

(a)  Manchester, Stockport, Macclesfield, Congleton, Kidsgrove, Stoke, Stafford, Lichfield, Tamworth, Nuneaton, Rugby, Milton Keynes, Euston.

(b)  Crew, Stafford, Rugeley, Lichfield, Tamworth, Atherstone, Nuneaton, Rugby, Northampton, Euston.

21.  The work by Greengauge 21 identified that these would be supplemented by:

—  An even-interval half-hourly service from Wolverhampton and Sandwell & Dudley or Walsall to Birmingham New Street, Birmingham International, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Euston, offering similar journey times from Birmingham and Coventry to today's services.

—  Enhanced half-hourly regional semi-fast services between Birmingham, Northampton and London.

—  Half-hourly Northampton-London services serving principal stations.

—  A Tring-London outer-suburban stopping service.

—  A doubling of the Milton Keynes-Olympia-East Croydon stopping service.

22.  The above is detailed to help refute the allegation that Coventry, Rugby, Milton Keynes and other stations will somehow "lose out" when HS2 is built. The very reverse is the case. And HS2 will additionally permit new services to link Walsall, Shropshire and Mid and North-East Wales with London. Elsewhere, other wholly new services could equally be provided on the Midland Main Line and ECML.

23.  It will also be particularly important to provide additional north-south capacity (through construction of HS2) so that the classic network can (a) serve the rapid population growth envisaged for the Milton Keynes-South Midland sub-region, and (b) meet future freight growth resulting from shifting more international freight from road-ferry-road or road-Le Shuttle-road to rail haulage throughout (or as far as inland UK terminals).

24.  Investment in HS2 will therefore significantly reduce the need for massive capacity investment in some of the classic network's trunk line sections, enabling other essential schemes (Northern Hub, Trans-Pennine electrification, Watford stations rationalisation, East-West Rail, Blyth & Tyne, etc) to be brought forward more quickly.

25.  What are the implications for domestic aviation?—It is suggested that there will be further significant reductions in domestic air travel on the HS2 corridor, particularly because HS2 will offer a significantly better working/travelling environment with city-heart penetration at each end of many of the journeys.

26.  At present (2010 data), rail has a good market share for London-Manchester traffic (79%), and a reasonable share for London-Newcastle (64%). However, for cross-country traffic that could in part use HS2 it is much lower (Birmingham-Glasgow 30%, Birmingham-Edinburgh 31%), and for Anglo-Scottish traffic it is lower still (London-Edinburgh 27% and London-Glasgow as low as 20%). Clearly, there is considerable scope for rail's further market-share expansion into former domestic air markets, particularly if HS2 also eventually serves Heathrow.

27.  Extension of HS2 to Manchester and Scotland will bring very significant reductions in Anglo-Scottish rail journey times, and even further reduce carbon emissions from UK air travel. HS2Co has estimated that almost two-thirds of forecast HS2 traffic from Scotland will have switched from air. HS2 will also permit faster and better cross-country services, again reducing air emissions.


28.  How robust are the HS2 assumptions and methodology?—It is always difficult to accurately predict future demand precisely for very many years ahead. But reasonably accurate rail passenger forecasting is relatively well-established in the UK, and has been refined over many years, although recent experience has been that demand for new localised schemes such as new stations has sometimes erred on the cautious, reflecting the difficulty of accurately modelling human behaviour when many variables are present. Rail forecasting methodology when used by others (other than the Department for Transport) must be agreed in advance with the DfT.

29.  The forecasting for HS2 is thus firmly rooted in past research and experience, and gives significant confidence, although obviously there will be some uncertainties associated with some of the major long-term external variables such as world economic climate, oil prices and emerging climate-change science.

30.  It is understood that rail forecasting has also progressively taken account of technology such as video-conferencing, homeworking, mobile phones and laptop computer use. There is no evidence to date that presently-anticipated technological advances will lead to unexpected step-changes in travel patterns.

31.  The quantified costs and benefits of HS2 Phase One, London-Birmingham/Lichfield, calculated as part of work commissioned by HS2Co, are summarized as follows:

—  Transport user benefits (business), £11.1 billion.

—  Transport user benefits (other), £6.4 billion.

—  Other quantifiable benefits (excluding carbon) £0.4 billion.

—  Loss to Government of indirect taxes (£1.3 billion).

—  Net transport benefits £16.5 billion.

—  Wider economic impacts £4.0 billion.

—  Net benefits inc wider economic impacts £20.6 billion.

—  Capital costs £17.8 billion.

—  Operating costs £6.2 billion.

—  Total costs £24.0 billion.

—  Revenues £13.7 billion.

—  Net costs to Government £10.3 billion.

—  Benefit/cost ratio without Wider Economic Impacts 1.6.

—  Benefit/cost ratio with Wider Economic Impacts 2.0.
(source: HS2Co, 2009 prices, figures are rounded)

32.  It is understood that the economic case for London-Birmingham/Lichfield is positive with or without the eventual full "Y" network onwards to Manchester and Leeds. But the full Y network to Manchester/Leeds, including links to HS1 and Heathrow would:

—  cost £44.3 billion (including operating costs);

—  generate fares revenue of £27.2 billion;

—  give a net cost of £17.1 billion;

—  with a net present value of benefits of £43.7 billion; and

—  giving a benefit/cost ratio of 2.6. These and the above calculations incorporate "central case" assumptions for variables.

33.  It is further understood that sensitivity testing by HS2Co has considered:

—  Changes to assumptions regarding the cost of travel.

—  Whether large changes in road use costs or air fares would be needed to have a significant effect on the benefit/cost ratio.

—  That a 50% increase in road fuel duty and a 37% increase in air fares would increase the benefit/cost ratio (even excluding wider economic impacts) to 2.7.

—  Whether lower road or air charges would reduce the economic case of HS2.

—  Whether slower growth (but still an increase) in road/air travel will again reduce the benefit/cost ratio of HS2.

—  Whether no growth in road/air travel would result in the benefit/cost ratio (excluding wider economic impacts) reducing to 1.4.

—  Whether changes in HS2 costs (higher construction and other costs) would have an impact upon the economic case for HS2. It is understood that the range of HS2 cost scenarios tested produce a range in benefit/cost ratios of between 1.5 and 2.0.

34.  What the above means, as HS2's critics have repeatedly emphasised, is that if all the components of these calculations worked against HS2, then the scheme's case would be weakened to the point where it became marginal. But this is completely artificial and unrealistic. It is extremely unlikely that in the 2030s the UK would be facing most or all, in simultaneous combination, of the following:

—  Much lower than predicted road costs (note that we have just seen Brent Crude oil rise from $83 per barrel in October 2010 to $114 per barrel by May 2011).

—  Extremely low air fares.

—  Low rates of road and air travel increase.

—  Very high HS2 construction costs, outside the estimates compiled by HS2Co.

—  Very high rail fares and charges.

—  A low value placed upon time savings.

—  Lower than predicted rail passenger and freight use.

35.  Those promoting HS2 have thus carefully attempted to rationally predict demand by various modes and to cautiously assess costs and benefits, using a "middle case" approach that attempts to be as realistic as possible. HS2Co states that cost estimates have also been calculated cautiously, using a bottom-upwards approach, based upon detailed assessment, rather than excessive optimism. Costs for Phase One have been estimated at £16.0 billion-£17.8 billion, including a plus 64% allowance for "optimism bias". In other words, assumed costs already include an allowance—and a very generous one—for any excessive optimism.

36.  Recent work on UK infrastructure projects (across-the-board) has identified opportunities for reducing costs by 15%. If such a reduction could be realised for HS2, then the benefit/cost ratio (excluding wider economic impacts) would rise to 2.0, with a higher-still ratio if wider economic benefits were to be included.

37.  The full cost of the "Y" network identified by HS2Co, that would serve not only London-Birmingham but also Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and other cities (with onward running to Liverpool and to Scotland) is estimated at £32 billion (2009 prices):

—  Over a 60-year timeframe, the Y network would generate benefits with a net present value of £43.7 billion.

—  The net present cost to Government over the same period for building and operating the Y network would be £17.1 billion.

—  The above would comprise total capital and operating costs of £44.3 billion, less fares revenue of £27.2 billion.

—  A "cautious" estimate by HS2Co, including allowance for wider economic impacts, is for a benefit/cost ratio for the Y network of 2.6.

38.  Much has been made by critics of the value placed upon working time in these calculations. Critics have argued that time spent on trains constitutes valuable working time, and therefore that journey time reductions (time savings) are not valuable. But if this were true:

—  It would actually be desirable to have long journeys, say two or three hours rather than one hour. But commonsense suggests that businesspeople and others do not seek to maximise the length of their journeys in such a way—indeed, the reverse is true. If long journeys were preferred by businesspeople (so as to enable them to work on the train) then there would have already been an even greater switch from air to rail than has been the case, although the modal-switch watershed has undoubtedly already moved (eg on Manchester-London, post WCML upgrading).

—  Locations would not suffer peripherality disadvantages from being accessed via long journeys. In other words, it would be no more disadvantageous in peripherality terms to locate one's business in (say) Stockport or Stafford than it was in Milton Keynes, Reading or Woking. Whilst Stockport or Stafford may have advantages in terms of property prices, it is counter-intuitive to suggest that being more peripheral to London and the South-East is in some way beneficial.

39.  It is understood that appraisal of HS2 has used values of time consistent with DfT appraisal guidance. Values reflect current prices and incomes (an individual's "value of time" is not the same as "salary earned"). Valuation of business travellers' time by HS2Co has assumed that users would otherwise be unproductive during their journey. This approach has been questioned by HS2 critics, but it is reported (by HS2Co) that there is very little hard methodological evidence to support any alternative approach.

40.  Investment in a HSR corridor on the north-south UK axis is relatively "low-risk", as it self-evidently links very major (in European terms) conurbations with each other, with Heathrow and with the Channel Tunnel/Europe, tapping into heavy existing demand and meeting projected future additional demands, including passenger and freight on released capacity on the classic-network routes.

41.  The extremely long lifespan of HS2 (effectively infinite) also gives considerable comfort in terms of the long term business case. Modal shift may even ultimately exceed predictions due to aspects such as travellers more actively disliking congestion, or showing greater-then-hitherto concern for the environment.

42.  Critics have alleged that past forecasts for High Speed 1 proved inaccurate. But the following numerous significant factors need to be allowed for:

—  The impact (now slowly reducing) of low-budget airlines in the 1990s was not foreseen.

—  The Channel Tunnel's operation has been seriously disrupted by two major beneath-Channel lorry fires and events such as asylum seekers and French rail and port strikes (and not helped by snow disruption and the handling of it).

—  Tunnel train-operator charges have until recently been excessively high, constraining service development.

—  Regional daytime and night-sleeper services, although forming part of the original plan to spread the benefits of the Channel Tunnel more widely through the UK, were never introduced (despite the rolling stock being built and tested).

—  A contestable (multi-operator) market in Channel Tunnel high-speed passenger train operation—which may ultimately lead to regional services—is only now beginning to develop, as part of European open access arrangements that have been slow to develop effectively.

—  Safety-case rules (or the interpretation of them) for operating modern high speed rolling stock designs through the Tunnel have been excessively restrictive, creating a barrier to entry for new operators.

—  Despite the Channel Tunnel opening in 1994, High Speed 1 only opened in 2007, and has since very considerably boosted demand.

—  The westward links between HS1 and the WCML (the triangular junction north of St. Pancras), which permit onward running beyond HS1 to the English regions and Wales/Scotland, were not in place until 2007.

—  The Schengen Agreement, making inter-European-state travel extremely easy and convenient, has not been adopted by the UK.

—  There has been a threat (albeit indirect) from international terrorism, affecting some international travel, plus a recent very deep European-wide recession.

—  Europe-wide integrated rail ticketing is still very seriously deficient compared with airlines, and full-load operation of trains still lags far behind airlines.

43.  Despite these problems, which have had a major collective impact, the use of international high speed services on HS1 has steadily grown until it is now approaching 10 million passengers per annum (9.5 million in 2010), with further first-quarter growth in 2011 of 8%. The route, and its terminal at St. Pancras, are regarded as extremely successful, and will benefit the UK for many decades to come. HS1 was successfully delivered on time and on budget.

44.  Post-HS2, there will be some lost passenger revenue on the classic WCML, MML and ECML routes, but this will be very significantly offset by operational and maintenance savings and the development of a significantly greater classic-network market through the additional passenger and freight links listed earlier.

45.  What would be the advantages of upgrading the existing WCML or building a new conventional-type line? (assumed 125mph)—Further upgrading of the existing WCML could be undertaken, but at very great cost. A number of flyovers/diveunders and numerous major works such as station upgrades and track re-instatements and re-alignments would be required. These would be individually extremely costly (as recent cost yardsticks, Reading remodelling is £850 million, Airdrie-Bathgate upgrade/re-opening £300 million, the single-track ECML Hitchin flyover scheme £62 million, Southampton-Birmingham gauge clearance £71 million, Swindon-Kemble re-doubling £45 million, Paddington Fourth Roof Span £40m, the short Ordsall Chord £85 million, New Street Upgrading £600 million and Farringdon Crossrail station £375 million). Additional tracks and rail noise from a new conventional route would also impact upon nearby properties, and in some cases require demolition of residential and business properties. When finished, it would have incurred much of the costs of a new line, but far fewer of the benefits.

46.  Significant major rebuilding of city terminal stations such as Euston would still be required, even without HS2. The Euston-Bletchley corridor would be particularly difficult to upgrade, especially at tightly-constrained locations such as Berkhamsted. In some places, complete (and costly) sections of new route would still be required. Similar additional works would also be required on the Midland Main Line and the ECML, as these routes, too, would be congested if HS2 was not built. Again, upgrading on these routes would be extremely costly.

47.  Network Rail has concluded: "By 2024, the WCML, particularly at the southern end of the route, is effectively full, and subsequent additional capacity could only be provided by exceptionally expensive infrastructure solutions." Already, bids for additional services which would benefit passengers are being refused, including in 2011 new Blackpool services, open access operations and London Midland's extension of services to Liverpool and Preston. Freight operations are also currently seeking additional slots at times that suit the logistics industry.

48.  It would be possible to build a wholly new conventional railway for freight only, (or freight and passenger) to European clearance standards, but again this would be very costly (more than a high speed passenger railway) due to the need for a gentle ruling gradient. Although welcome for freight (and permitting Euro gauge operations), it would not generate more than a moderate proportion of passenger benefits, due to much lower speeds/longer journey times. It is most unlikely that freight potential, and much lower passenger benefits, could finance such a route.

49.  There would seem to be only limited gains to be had from building a new conventional passenger-only railway. It would have many, or most, of the costs of a new high speed line, would cost more to operate, and whilst it would ease capacity problems it would not offer the reductions in journey time that HS2 would offer. Each of the above alternative-to-HS2 options has been demonstrated by HS2Co and consultants to be less good value for money, compared with HS2. Mainland European Governments notably continue to invest funds in new truly high speed lines, rather than new conventional lines, for this very reason.

50.  What would be the pros and cons of managing demand, eg by price?—demand management would raise serious ethical/equality issues, as it would effectively force the less well off to travel at very quiet times (late evening, or at night) or not at all. It would also be difficult in practical terms to manage overall travel demand in a balanced way across all modes, given the lack of road pricing and other factors such as the lack of duty on aircraft fuel.

51.  Lessons to learn from other major projects?—there is evidence that recent UK projects are being significantly better managed now than a generation ago. The HS2 costings also allow amply for optimism bias. There is a wealth of experience available from other Western European countries regarding HSR construction.


52.  Are stations at Euston, Old Oak Common, Birmingham International/Interchange and Birmingham Curzon Street the best possible locations?—In my view, these are all correct choices. Euston is the vital Central London railhead for the North, North Wales and Scotland, with excellent local TfL connections, although limited residential demolition will regrettably be necessary. Old Oak Common will give interchange with Crossrail/Heathrow and other services, and constitutes the "trump card" of the Chilterns alignment. Birmingham Interchange will serve the WCML, Birmingham Airport and the NEC, and Curzon Street is extremely well placed for Birmingham city centre, and is well worth the very modest cost in property demolition. It is also adjacent to the re-expanded Moor Street station.

53.  Regarding Phase One intermediate stations, it is strongly suggested that there should be none, other than Old Oak Common and Birmingham International. Further intermediate stations would add cost, slow-up services and use precious capacity on what will be an intensively-used long distance line. The criteria for all stations should be use and distance from London and other station stops.

54.  I believe that the decision not to route HS2 via Heathrow, and to provide Heathrow (and Crossrail) connections at Old Oak Common, with a loop or spur through/to Heathrow (as recommended by Lord Mawhinney), is correct.

55.  Which cities should be served by an eventual high speed network?—the proposed network will serve the major cities of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Leicester/Nottingham (this latter through a parkway-type station). With onward running over existing lines, services will serve Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is further strongly recommended that Manchester should be the main intermediate stop between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh.

56.  It is suggested that the main deficiency in the current Y-network proposals is the lack of a high speed spur to serve Merseyside. An early-construction spur from HS2 Phase One to Derby and Sheffield is also justified. The high speed spur to Liverpool (possibly via Liverpool Airport) should be planned so that Merseyside is not economically disadvantaged in relation to Manchester and Leeds. Under present plans, Merseyside-London travel will take 95mins, 15mins longer than Manchester-London. This could act as a significant deterrent to businesses considering locating in/near Liverpool city centre. A spur to Derby and Sheffield would cut Sheffield journey times ahead of HS2's eventual extension to Sheffield.

57.  It is understood from the work of HS2Co that there is a potentially strong business case for extending the Y-shape route to Scotland. This makes the early progressing of the initial London-Birmingham/Lichfield section all the more vital.

58.  Should the network be built in stages?—Yes, but significantly more rapidly extended to Manchester/Leeds than is currently planned, by 2025 rather than 2033. Building the network in stages is the only option capable of being funded. There is no reason why the Scottish Government (construction of new lines in Scotland is a devolved decision) cannot commence "HS2S" in Scotland whilst the English sections are under construction, providing there is a viable case.

59.  Links to HS1 and Heathrow?—As noted above, I believe that the Government's decisions to build the HS1 link at the outset, and the Heathrow direct link several years later, are correct, given funding availability, although in an ideal world the Heathrow spur/loop would come at the earliest subsequent opportunity.


60.  What evidence is there that HS1 will promote economic regeneration?—a number of studies have identified (and attempted to quantify) the regeneration effects of high speed rail elsewhere in the world These are referred to in Appendix III. It is difficult to apply these findings with absolute precision to the HS2 corridor to the North and Scotland/North Wales, as comparative circumstances involve a number of variables, but HS2, by connecting up a number of major conurbations/areas, will benefit very large numbers of people.

61.  Wider Economic Impacts calculated by HS2Co include benefits from improved links between different firms, which can lead to greater efficiency and cost savings to business ("agglomeration effects"). It is believed by HS2Co that there may be further potential beneficial economic impacts if HS2 results in changes in the spatial patterns of economic activity. It is understood that HS2Co are carrying out further work on HS2's wider economic impacts. Clearly, the latter are of very significant interest to the UK regions and to Scotland and North Wales.

62.  The Government believes that HS2 will be a catalyst for economic regeneration, stating: "A British high speed rail network could contribute strongly to regeneration in our major cities…….A London-West Midlands line alone could support the creation of around 40,000 jobs. Successive generations have sought to bridge the north-south divide. A national high speed rail network could provide a unique opportunity to finally ensure it happens."

63.  It should be stressed that HS2 is a very long term investment, and thus that very significant benefits will flow for many decades (and several centuries) to come.

64.  Should the shape of the network be influenced in order to support local and regional regeneration?—A careful balance must be struck between meeting travel needs and achieving regeneration gains. SNCF planners have warned UK planners against acceding to requests for non-essential intermediate stations for purely regenerative reasons as these will delay the majority of travellers.

65.  HS rail stations should therefore be kept to a minimum, and routes should be as direct as topography allows. But the network can be further shaped to aid regeneration, eg by making Manchester the major intermediate stop between London and Scotland, and building a western high speed spur from Cheshire to serve Merseyside, as long as this does not damage overall network use.

66.  Locations and socio-economic groups that could benefit from HS2?—the locations that benefit will be the city regions directly served, and those served through onward running onto the classic network. But other areas/locations can benefit too, through good connections to HSR stations, and those centres on the classic network (such as Stafford, Nuneaton, Rugby, Milton Keynes) should receive a major boost through improved regular-interval semi-fast services.

67.  All socio-economic groups will benefit from regional economic rebalancing, and through jobs directly created by the construction and operation of the new line. It is also imperative that all groups should be able to afford fares on HS2. The large number of seats offered daily will ensure that very attractive discounts are provided, particularly at off-peak times. All groups will also benefit from reduced congestion, greater reliability, fewer accidents and lower emissions. All groups would also benefit from job opportunities, including significant construction jobs.

68.  It is recognised that the routeing of HS2 through the Chilterns is very controversial for local residents, and consideration should be given to linking WCML outer-suburban services into Crossrail to bring a very significant associated planning gain to at least the eastern edge of the Chilterns area.

69.  How should Government ensure that all major beneficiaries make an appropriate contribution and bear risks, and should EU support be sought?—the major contribution to funding will be made in the long term by users over succeeding decades. Local authorities could make a part-contribution to stations (but should not be permitted to "buy extra stations"), and could assist in funding complementary schemes such as local rail and bus networks. Business interests and individuals could buy shares in operators of passenger and freight services. Developers could contribute significantly to the costs of stations, but again must not be allowed to "buy extra stations". The Scottish Government could contribute to a future Scottish extension of HS2. Support should be sought from EU funding pools. Rolling stock owning companies could support investment in new trains.

70.  Maximising the spread of contributions will spread risk. But this is a major long-term strategic scheme, and Government should remain in the leadership role.


71.  What will be the impact on emissions? How much modal shift would be needed for HSR to reduce carbon?—the answer to these questions is considerably complicated by uncertainties over (a) future power generation in terms of emissions, (b) future air and road pricing, whether through carbon taxes or other mechanisms, and (c) the successful development of future technologies, especially improved hybrid or battery vehicles.

72.  Clearly, in an environment where fuel costs, fuel taxes (including carbon taxes, legislative changes, technical advances and rail fares and charges are all variables, it is therefore difficult to precisely forecast this area. As noted, there will be significant modal switching when HS2 (and released capacity on the classic network, for other passenger traffics and freight) is available. It is understood that HS2's forecasts take a "middle" prediction stance on carbon.

73.  A future power-generation strategy for HS2 will need to increasingly employ "green" sources such as wind, tidal and hydro-electric power. Should this be the case, then an electrified HS2 could have relatively low at-source emissions.

74.  In contrast, the already significantly reduced emissions from motor vehicles (including HGVs) and aircraft, as older vehicles/aircraft are scrapped, will be difficult to reduce further unless there is a major breakthrough in battery or some other technology, and this will offer a very large residual transport emissions base that could thus bring emission-reduction gains through modal switching to rail.

75.  The extent to which modal switching to reduce carbon can be effected has been carefully measured as part of HS2Co's and other's studies. HS2Co estimates that for the "Y" network, 6m air trips and 9m car trips per year could switch to rail. This estimate may ultimately prove cautious, particularly for car trips.

76.  HS2Co has estimated that the overall carbon effects of HS2 would be broadly neutral, with an annual range between -0.41m tonnes to +0.44m tonnes, plus temporary (but not significant) emissions during construction. Should power generation be "greened", as above, these estimates may prove cautious, with a net overall reduction after modal switching (passenger and freight) is allowed for. Passenger switching as part of the HS2 package should include new commuter, semi-fast and cross-country services on the classic network.

77.  It may be possible to increase modal switching even further (over and above HS2Co predictions) in favour of rail. Factors that may assist this include greater environmental awareness/responsibility of travellers, further increased awareness of the waste of time that driving and congestion create, ever-greater parking difficulties, the expectation that fuel will become more expensive as world demand intensifies and wholesale prices rise further, and improved marketing of rail in conjunction with more attractive/simpler fares and easier booking.

78.  HS2's trump cards are that it will make the trunk part of longer-distance journeys effortless and delay-free, will offer immense capacity for lower-carbon passenger trips and freight movement, and will offer many new journey opportunities.

79.  An understated key part of HS2's value is the release of capacity on the existing WCML, Midland Main Line and ECML for additional freight use, reducing the carbon impact of heavy lorries. Transport is the fastest-growing source of carbon, with road transport accounting for 26% of all-sources UK emissions. HGVs are estimated to account for 23% of carbon emissions from domestic transport. Rail is very significantly more energy-efficient than road haulage, which per tonne carried consumes between four and seven times more energy. Released capacity on the classic network will further reduce freight carbon emissions. Overall, I therefore believe that HS2Co's assumptions on carbon emissions are relatively cautious.

80.  The announcement of the European Commission in March 2011 to reduce Europe's dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2050, including a 50% shift of medium distance intercity passenger and freight journeys from road to rail and waterborne transport is clearly relevant.

81.  Are environmental costs/benefits (including noise) correctly accounted for in the business case?—as noted, environmental costs of HS2 include additional carbon from power generation, until cleaner sources are brought on-stream. However, the external environmental costs of power generation pre-clean-up should not be debited against the long-term environmental benefits of HS2.

82.  Some noise footprint will be generated by HS2, but experience in Kent and elsewhere shows how the noise footprint of HSR trains can be mitigated. Overall, noise generated by HS2 needs to have future very significant noise reductions of road and air traffic subtracted from the calculation. High speed rail also has safety benefits (reduced death/injury from road accidents).

83.  In the medium and long term, the noise impact of HS2 will become less of an issue, as population changes occur (births/deaths) and people locate close to HS2 as a matter of free will. The Committee may wish to note this point. It will be vital to compensate all those immediately affected by noise and severance.

84.  For emissions costs, it is difficult to place a precise value on these, partly because future carbon savings may have been understated, and partly because it is very difficult to place a precise value on lowered carbon emissions when the science linking emissions to environmental damage is relatively young.

85.  Impact Of HS2 Upon Freight Services On The Classic Network?—This is one of the most important aspects of HS2. It is suggested that the major strategic benefits of HS2 to freight using the classic network has been under-appreciated to date. At present, there are a very limited number of freight paths available on the WCML, Midland and ECML. Already, the development of efficient fast freight links via the classic routes is constrained by the need to accommodate intensive fast passenger services and carry out essential maintenance at night. The WCML alone forms a key section of the following three freight corridors:

—  Haven Ports-Nuneaton or Stoke-NW-Scotland.

—  Southampton-Reading-West Midlands-NW-Scotland.

—  Channel Tunnel and London-NW-Scotland.

86.  The longer-term forecasts for freight on the north-south axis are for continued growth. This is partly due to UK landmass and European coastal geography (relative positions of northern conurbations, south coast and east coast ports and the Channel Tunnel). But growth is expected to develop further still as port throughputs increase and as competition for freight through the Channel Tunnel is at last freed from excessive charges/restraints, and benefits from a deregulated and more competitive mainland European rail freight sector.

87.  Subject to economic recovery, UK rail freight (including domestic traffic, linked to new distribution warehousing) is forecast to increase from 23.5 billion tonne kilometres (btk) in 2006 to 31.0btk in 2015 and to 50.4btk in 2030 (source: Rail Freight Group/FTA, MDS Transmodal study 2009). Increased rail-connection to ports and warehousing, and forecast transfer by the logistics sector of non-bulk commodities to rail for reasons of cost/reliability, is predicted to expand domestic non-bulk traffic from 1.0btk in 2006 to 14.8btk by 2030, and port-based non-bulk traffic from 4.9btk in 2006 to 19.9btk by 2030, with lesser increases in construction, automotive and petrochecmicals sectors. Percentages of tonne-kilometres (rail as % of all modes) could increase from 12.6% in 2006 to 20.7% in 2030.

88.  A specific example of a source of freight growth is cross-Channel railfreight traffic, currently running at a very poor annual rate of only 1.2m tonnes (was 3.1m tonnes in 1998). The cross-Channel market for unitised goods (all land-based modes) is an estimated 90m tonnes per annum (source: Eurotunnel). Eurotunnel estimates that of this,15m tonnes is suitable for rail-throughout movement. The annual market for cross-Channel rail freight space sold to forwarders is estimated at 1.8m tonnes, and cross-Channel containers destined for the UK but unloaded from ships at European ports is a further 1.2m tonnes (source: RAIL, 4/11). At present, most Channel Tunnel freight growth is on HGVs (numbers up 30% in the first quarter of 2011 compared with 2010). These HGVs add both to UK motorway traffic levels and emission levels.

89.  Based on the above, future growth in rail freight (both international and national) within the UK, including deep-sea, bulk and intermodal traffic will require very considerable additional capacity on the UK's north-south axis, if efficient transits are to be offered by rail freight operators. Switching freight to rail has near-universal public support, but continued growth in passenger traffic, both long-distance and regional and commuter flows, will be in direct conflict with this freight growth unless passenger capacity is expanded by building HS2.

90.  Some additional capacity could be provided on the classic rail network through additional running lines, passing loops and grade separation, but this would only buy time and (as already noted) would require very significant investment. The creation of a new dedicated passenger route (HS2) will free-up capacity on the existing WCML, Midland Main Line and ECML for additional freight services, and (as previously mentioned) much-needed additional capacity for cross-country, commuter and local passenger services.

91.  HS2 itself could potentially carry some premium European-clearance freight. The drawbacks are that, for heavy freight use, the curvature and gradients would have to be more moderate than for passenger use. It would, of course, be impossible to operate freight and high speed passenger at the same times, as a mixed-traffic railway. Notwithstanding this, HS2 could still, in my view, open-up the opportunity for a very limited premium service of through Channel Tunnel (Euro gauge) freight services late at night, providing this could be accommodated within route infrastructure maintenance and gradient/curvature requirements.

92.  Disruption To Services On The Classic Network During HS2's Construction?—When the WCML upgrading was carried out, services were very seriously disrupted over long periods, and much business was lost from rail. There were particular problems with freight and mails. As noted, further major upgrading of the classic network would be required on the WCML, Midland Main Line and ECML, at many locations over many years, with serious and protracted disruption to passengers/freight customers and excessive compensation to train operators.

93.  In dramatic contrast, the construction of HS2 will largely not impinge on the classic network at all, except at the few locations where the trackwork of both physically connect or intersect. Construction of new stations such as Birmingham Curzon Street and Interchange would also proceed without disruption.

94.  The exceptions (for the London-Birmingham/Lichfield phase) would be at Euston and at Old Oak Common. However, there are already strong arguments for major reconstruction of Euston anyway, even without HS2. The creation of a new short link near Old Oak Common between WCML local London services and Crossrail would remove many local services from Euston and permit a careful phasing of works (across a newly-expanded site) to avoid serious disruption. Overall, given the scale of the HS2 project, disruption would be kept to an acceptable minimum.


95.  The case for HS2 has received widespread support in the Midlands, North and Scotland, within the business community, the transport/logistics industry, the media, and from local government and from a number of national politicians:

—  The Confederation of British Industry stated: "We support the business case for a high speed rail line linking London with Birmingham and the North of England, and we continue to make this case to the Government." (quoted in RAIL, 3/11)

—  "By pressing ahead with a high speed rail network, we can ensure sufficient rail capacity for the foreseeable future. Some opponents have argued that upgrading the existing main line networks would deal with any capacity constraints, but that would only address the problem in the short term."—John Leech MP (Manchester & Withington, debate, Westminster Hall, 3/11)

—  Gary Williamson, chief executive of Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, recently stated: "High speed rail is a vital part of the long-term vision for the UK economy…..The protests of the few are jeopardising the prosperity of the many, and the propagation by some rural communities that the business case for HS2 is flawed is incorrect."

—  In 3/11, some 90 Yorkshire business leaders signed an open letter to the Secretary of State in support of HS2. They were backed by 21 MPs, 14 Council leaders and the major Northern universities.

—  "The other countries that have developed high speed rail networks—Spain, Germany, France, China and Japan—cannot all be wrong."—Iain Stewart, MP (Milton Keynes South, Westminster Hall, 3/11)

—  The Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum stated (3/11): "We believe (HS2) will boost business, create jobs and make passengers' lives easier. It will not only benefit our region…….but will be for the good of the country's future."

—  Greengauge 21 Campaign stated: "HS2 will provide much-improved links from the great cities of Scotland, the North and the Midlands to London and the South-East." (quoted in RAIL, 3/11)

—  Julian Smith MP (Skipton & Ripon) stated: "It's becoming more and more evident that there's a chasm between north and south, and I believe high speed rail will play a major role in addressing that." (Yorkshire Post, 3/11)

—  The North West Business Leadership Team stated in late 2010: "The (High Speed) network must be extended to the North and eventually to Scotland and Wales if the whole UK economy is to benefit, and the economic disadvantages of peripherality and poor connectivity are to be overcome." (High Speed To The North West—Grasping The Opportunity, NWBLT)

—  The Association of Train Operating Companies stated (3/11): "By deploying the best of British design and engineering in the construction of the high speed line in Kent in the 1990s, we struck the right balance between national and local interest. We can do the same again with High Speed 2".

—  Andrew Palmer, CBI Yorkshire said: "We see real benefits from having a high speed line…….The Government must commit to the full network, not just the initial trunk route to Birmingham, and ensure that the network is adequately connected to international gateways such as Heathrow and HS1." (Yorkshire Post, 3/11).

—  The Campaign For Better Transport stated in early 2011 that high speed rail should form part of a broader national transport strategy to increase capacity on the rail network, but that existing (classic) lines should not be neglected.

—  David Higgins, Chief Executive of Network Rail, said in early 2011: "West Coast (upgrading) has been a tremendous success…….But within 10 years, and probably six years, the route will be at absolute capacity, and that's with additional carriages…….Then the only way left to cope with demand (without HS2) will be to push the prices up."


96.  There are a number of policy backdrop documents to High Speed 2, and a very brief sample, by no means comprehensive, is given here in chronological order:

—  "Proposals for a European High Speed Network", Community of European Railways, 1989, which looked towards a pan-European network being created.

—  The call by the North West Channel Tunnel Group in 1990 to construct a new high speed main line on the West Coast corridor in the early 21st century ("Capitalising on the Channel Tunnel—Action for North West England").

—  Work by the West Coast Rail 250 Campaign in the early 1990s, which identified the opportunity for new cut-off (by-pass) lines for locations such as Stafford. During the mid-1990s, the opportunity for a new high speed line was further recognised, and adopted as part of long-term North West regional development planning.

—  Extensive work by Greengauge 21 during the past decade, which has found a clear positive financial case for an initial UK high speed rail network.

—  Work undertaken in recent years by consultants working for the Department for Transport and Network Rail, which again found a clear case for a high speed network.

—  The Stern Report, 2006 (Stern Report on the Economics of Climate Change).

—  Delivery of a Sustainable Railway, Department for Transport, 2007.

—  High Speed Rail, Department for Transport, March 2010.

—  Major work undertaken by and on behalf of the Government's High Speed 2 company during 2009-11, which has further confirmed the case for high speed rail, and recommended an initial Y-shaped network linking London, the West Midlands, North West England and the East Midlands, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, with services continuing to other destinations including Liverpool, Lancashire, Glasgow/Edinburgh and to North East England.

—  The National Infrastructure Plan, 2010.

—  High Speed Rail—Investing In Britain's Future, Consultation Summary, DfT, March 2011.

—  The European Commission's Transport 2050 Strategy, seeking a 50% shift of medium-distance intercity passenger and freight journeys from road to rail/water, with the majority of medium-distance passenger traffic (300km-plus) using rail.

—  The same strategy delivering a fully-functional EU-wide core network of transport corridors (TEN-T core network) by 2030, with by 2050 all core network airports connected to rail, preferably high-speed rail.


97.  A number of studies elsewhere have generally confirmed that high speed rail investment brings significant regional economic benefits. A small selection of these studies' findings is briefly summarized below.

98.  Study by R Vickerman, International Connections by High Speed Rail—Metropolitan and Inter-Regional Impacts, published by Centre for European, Regional and Transport Economics, University of Kent, Canterbury, (based on a paper presented at the World Conference on Transport Research, University of California at Berkeley), 2007:

—  Creation of new accessibility opportunities.

—  Direct impact on productivity, competition, and competitiveness.

—  Changes in patterns of agglomeration, leading to gains in productivity.

—  Improved workforce participation (access to jobs).

—  Possibility of one to two days per week commuting/homeworking (access to new jobs).

99.  Study by P M J Pol, The Economic Impact of the High Speed Train on Urban Regions, published by European Regional Science Association, August 2003:

—  "Relevant regions" become larger.

—  Improved quality of life and accessibility of city centres.

—  Catalysing effect of HSR on regional economies.

—  Cities can obtain higher position in European city hierarchy.

—  HSR can stimulate weaker regions to improve economic competitiveness.

100.  Study by G De Rus, The Economic Effects of High Speed Rail Investment, Joint Transport Research Centre, University of Las Palmas, published by OECD and International Transport Forum, August 2008:

—  Case for investing is strongly dependent on existing traffic base.

—  Also depends on time savings, generated traffic, willingness to pay.

—  Also beneficial release of capacity on congested alternatives.

—  High speed rail has very long asset life.

101.  Study by K Kamel & R Matthewman, The Non-Transport Impacts of High Speed Trains on Regional Economic Development—A Review of the Literature, published by Locate In Kent, November 2008:

—  Increase of accessibility, and importance of changed perceptions.

—  Changes in commercial rents, house prices and reduced vacancy rates.

—  Effects on decision-makers when new businesses are located.

—  Enlarged labour markets.

—  Attractiveness to businesses with strategic/international contracts/linkages.

—  Catalyst for investment in other key transport infrastructure.

102.  Study by S Randolph, J Haveman and E Egan, California High Speed Rail—Economic Benefits and Impacts in the San Francisco Bay Area, published by California Bay Area Council Economic Institute, San Francisco, October 2008:

—  Business/job creation, congestion, development, climate change.

—  Will enlarge reachable workforce.

—  Helps retain businesses that might otherwise move away.

—  Stimulates tourism and support hotel/restaurant sector.

—  Releases capacity at key airports.

—  Catalyst for urban infill, more compact development.

—  HSR uses one-third of air trip carbon and one-fifth of car trip carbon.

103.  High Speed Train Impact Study Final Report, published by HST Impact Consortium, 2008:

—  High speed rail contributes to the economic importance of cities/regions.

—  HSR investment draws-in other investment, and tends to contribute to regional economic growth.

—  HSR exploits the benefits of reduced journey times.

—  Connection into HSR routes plays a major role in the urban development of cities, and regenerates deprived areas.

—  Land price levels increase in the areas around HSR terminals.

104.  Report of Kent County Council, Study of Kent and High Speed 1 Domestic Rail Services, Kent County Council, January 2009:

—  HSR services can be catalyst for future development.

—  Local authorities should encourage development and facilitate regeneration.

—  Mostly favourable effects on property (higher demand).

—  One-hour (approx) travel time is important (for HS2, this will benefit London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds).

—  Connectivity is important to retaining businesses.

—  There should be integration with local public transport.

105.  Study by H S M Sanchez-Mateos (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha) and M. Givoni, Accessibility Impact of New HSR Line in the UK—Preliminary Analysis of Winners and Losers, Working Paper No. 1041, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford, December 2009:

—  Main justification for HSR in UK is economic and environmental.

—  May not always be large switch from air to rail.

—  Environmental case could be undermined by non-green electricity.

—  Additional (non-travel) benefits are employment, agglomeration, economic development.

—  Significant reductions in travel time, for cities served.

—  Will "shrink" the UK.

106.  Study by J Willigers, H Floor and B van Wee, High Speed Rail's Impact on the Location of Office Employment within the Randstad Area, 45th Congress of European Regional Science Association, Amsterdam, 2005:

—  Centrality and connectivity effects of HSR are important.

—  Reducing travel times increases accessibility for business travel.

—  Connectivity (in this study) is most important for international services.

—  Increased concentration of offices around HS stations raises accessibility effect.

May 2011

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Prepared 8 November 2011