Written evidence from Gladwin Associates
Our main conclusions are that:
1. There is a need for a National Transport Infrastructure
Plan, which covers air, road and rail. This would provide the
opportunity to balance growth and investment, taking into account
opportunities for regeneration, providing a modern transport system
for the whole country. In particular, we believe that a strategy
for freight is urgently needed. Currently the majority of freight
is moved by road, which results in noise and congestion on motorways,
plus substantially increasing the wear & tear on the slow
The latest HS2 reports show that anticipated growth
is now much lower, with the cap being applied in 2043 instead
of 2033. Rail Package 2 provides an incremental programme of improvements
as demand changes. Thus there is time to develop a National Transport
2. High Speed Rail may well prove to be part
of the solution, however the route chosen has a number of disadvantages
in meeting the Government's desire to heal the North South Divide:
(a) The timescale to reach the North is too long:
(i) Birmingham 2026.
(ii) Manchester/Leeds 2033 (probably 2036).
(iii) Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow?
(b) The route is difficult to future proof ie
increase to 4 tracks. HS2 Ltd admit this themselves.
(c) HS2 Ltd's proposal of a single tunnel (with
three trains per hour each way) to link to HS1 and the continent
is hardly a 21st century solution, and begs the question of what
happens if demand increases sharply.
(d) The route does not follow accepted practice
of running alongside motorways, where the noise envelopes of HSR
and the Motorway can be merged. The land around motorways is already
blighted to a certain extent. The increase in blight and environmental
damage from an HSR is substantially less than building through
(e) An alternate route following the M1 would
reach Leeds and Manchester in 2026, and give the opportunity to
reach the North East and Scotland significantly earlier. This
has the advantages that:
(i) with faster travel times, the majority of
people travelling to London would choose rail, and flights could
be cut significantly.
(ii) The majority of cities in the East Midlands
and South Yorkshire could be connected, and those in the West
Midlands by a link following the M6.
(iii) There would be a long fast track, which
with the use of acceleration / deceleration tracks would enable
significantly more cities to be joined to the HSR network.
3. The economic case presented by HS2 has declined
substantially between March 2010 and February 2011. On a like
for like basis the Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) has dropped from 2.6
to 1.6 for the Birmingham London proposal. A significant amount
of this was due to the correction of errors as well as a reduction
in demand. To get the BCR to 1.6, the cap on growth which is normally
applied has been extended to 2043 from 2033. Without this extension,
the BCR would be 1.0.
4. There are a number of deficiencies in the
costs, in particular no disbenefits have been included for:
(a) the impact on commuters into Euston during
the rebuilding period;
(b) the impact on businesses along the line for
loss of profit from walkers and cyclists; and
(c) The impact of not spending any further funds
on the classic rail system after 2015, an assumption that HS2
5. The cost of building a new power station,
which will only be needed if HS2 goes ahead, has not been included.
This alone is estimated at £2.8 billion.
6. HS2 Ltd has admitted that errors have been
made in the calculation of spoil that will need to be removed
in the Chilterns. In calculating a figure of 658,000 cubic metres,
they only included one tunnel instead of two. In addition they
have omitted the expansion factor of 50% for spoil removed compared
to its compacted form. The Chiltern Conservation Board has calculated
that the correct amount is 12,000,000 cubic metres. A cost adjustment
will be needed for this.
7. Classic compatible trains will run on the
WCML north of Litchfield. Due to the bends in the current track,
they will need to run slower than the existing Pendolino's. At
the moment we have not been able to resolve whether the slower
times have been reflected in the business benefits. Should they
have not been reflected, considering that 11 of 14 trains per
hour will originate north of Lichfield, there would be a considerable
reduction in the benefits arising.
8. In our opinion there is evidence that there
are a significant number of errors in the business case which
need to be resolved to determine whether the proposed route is
1. What are the main arguments either for
or against HSR
The arguments advanced for HSR are:
to close the North South Divide.
contribute to Carbon reduction through transfers from road and
air, and from the "greening" of power generation.
The arguments against HSR:
can be adequately met through improvements to existing lines.
These can be phased in as demand develops.
from business travelers over the next 15 years will be impacted
by IT developments, reducing the need to travel.
argument for closing the North South Divide is based on research
that relies on HSR creating economic conditions which will create
new employment. That evidence shows that where two economic units
are linked the larger unit will gain the most employment. HS2
Ltd has admitted that 70% of the jobs created will be in London.
The same research shows that the main gain to the smaller unit
is a transfer of jobs from neighbouring regions, which do not
have as good a transport connection.
are forecasting only marginal transfers from road and air. The
majority of transfers will be from classic rail and from new travel.
existing railway with improvements will use substantially less
electricity, and will therefore be greener that HSR.
2. How does HSR fit with the Government's
transport policy objectives?
1. HSR is designed to improve inter-urban
connectivity. How does that objective compare in importance to
other transport policy objectives and spending programmes, including
those for the strategic road network?
HSR will improve inter-urban connectivity between
the cities it is linked to, but will seriously weaken the prospects
for intermediate cities not on the HSR network. For the North,
significantly improving the rail links from Liverpool to Newcastle
and Teesside with intermediate access in Manchester, Leeds, Doncaster
and Sheffield would cost significantly less and yield higher returns
2. Focusing on rail, what would be the implications
of expenditure on HSR on funding for the "classic" network,
for example in relation to investment to increase track and rolling
stock capacity in and around major cities?
HS2 Ltd states that they expect no further improvements
of the classic rail system from 2015. This leaves a period of
over 10 years where, the risk of overcrowding will increase substantially,
whereas Rail Package 2 sets out a series of improvements, which
can be implemented as and when the need arises to increase capacity.
No account has been taken of the disbenefits that will arise during
3. What are the implications for domestic
Domestic aviation from the North of England to Heathrow
comes from, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
The key to a passenger transferring to rail is whether they are
interlining at Heathrow or going to London and the South East.
As total journey times by train shorten compared to total journey
times by air, one would expect to see the continued decline in
air passenger volumes. The key issue is whether HS2 will deliver
significantly faster services than the classic railway.
From Manchester, Virgin WCML claim to have 80% of
the Manchester / London traffic. The domestic flights from Newcastle,
Edinburgh and Glasgow are currently declining, and, with the new
Flying Scotsman reducing the time to four hours from Edinburgh
to London, can be expected to decline further.
3. Business case
1. How robust are the assumptions and methodology
- for example, on passenger forecasts, modal shifts, fare levels,
scheme costs, economic assumptions (eg about the value of time)
and the impact of lost revenue on the "classic" network?
The poor quality of HS2 Limited / DfT figures are
drastic reduction in the forecast demand as published in March
2010 and Feb 2011, requiring a capacity cap to be extended from
2033 to 2043 to bring the Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) to 1.6 from
2.9. Without this cap extension the BCR would be 1.0.
DfT forecasts for demand on HS1 produced when the project was
approved are currently approximately double the current level
valuation of time savings for business at £46 per hour, is
based on the assumption that business people's travel time on
trains is unproductive. With WiFi, laptops etc, most business
people are very productive on trains. Elimination of this valuation
reduces the Benefits by £17 billion, and the BCR to.
trains at 360kph use three times the power of a Pendolino at 200kph.
With the forecast number of trains the HS2 preferred route will
require an additional power station to be built. This would cost
an estimated £2.8 billion as at Q3 2009. This has not been
included in the capital costs. If HS2 is not built there would
be no need to build this power station. Therefore £2.8 billion
should be included in the Cost numbers.
In discussions with HS2 officials during the Roadshow,
there are other errors coming to light:
calculation of the spoil generated from crossing the Chilterns:
only one tunnel instead of two.
deepening of the cuttings by 5m from Amersham to Wendover appears
not to be in calculation. This alone creates 2,600,000 cu metres
spoil is dug up it creates 1.5x the volume of the compacted earth.
This has apparently been ignored.
figure for spoil given by HS2 Ltd is 658,000 cu metres., compared
with a conservative estimate of 10,000,000 cu metres, all of which
needs to transported and disposed of.
is apparent that no account has been taken of this cost in the
rebuilding of Euston station is scheduled to take eight years.
During that time the lives of millions of commuters will be affected,
with delays overcrowding etc. At the Roadshows, it was established
that no disbenefit has been deducted from the benefits for this
impact on businesses along the line, whose trade is currently
impacted by blight, and those that will impacted during the construction
phase have not been included as disbenefits or compensation. In
the Chilterns, this will impact all those businesses dependent
on visitors, and will be severe with footpaths and cycle tracks
Amersham and Wendover 23 Rights of Way will be disrupted and currently
only four are shown to reconnected or diverted. At the Roadshows,
officials were unaware of this. One claimed they would reconnected
by diverting them, but as there are few roads crossing the proposed
line and the cutting is mainly up to 15 metres deep, the only
solution would be bridges or tunnelling the whole way. No cost
has been included in the Economic Case for bridges or the additional
cost of tunnelling. Nor has the cost of providing solutions to
reconnect over 100 Rights of Way north of Wendover.
2. What would be the pros and cons of resolving
capacity issues in other ways, for example by upgrading the West
Coast Main Line or building a new conventional line?
The benefits of upgrading the existing WCML are substantial
in that Rail Package 2 (RP2),developed by National Rail, can be
implemented incrementally, thus matching upgrades to demand as
it occurs, rather than building for a 50 year anticipated demand.
We agree with HS2 Ltd that developing a new conventional
line offers no significant benefit over HSR.
Interestingly, the DfT, led by Norman Baker, is currently
working on reducing the demand for travel by promoting developments
in IT, such as Skype, video conferencing, improved data networks,
etc. The impact of this at the moment is small at present but
the potential reduction in demand is significant.
3. What would be the pros and cons of alternative
means of managing demand for rail travel, for example by price?
The benefit of managing demand by price would be
that rail infrastructure costs could be reduced, but the reality
is that people will still want to travel, and the impact could
be to see an increase in road or air traffic, with a consequent
increase in other transport infrastructure costs. Effectively,
demand is managed by price today. The railway companies use the
"Budget Airline" model to optimize capacity and price,
thus if one books a long time ahead one gets a good price.
4. What lessons should the Government learn
from other major transport projects to ensure that any new high
speed lines are built on time and to budget?
The first lesson the Government needs to learn is
that the Country needs a National Transport Infrastructure Plan.
Currently we have no overall plan for rail, air or road. Passengers
and Freight can modally shift easily, depending on the marginal
cost of each mode. We believe that the biggest single challenge
for the country is to develop a strategy for moving freight. However
to do this one needs to take into account passenger movements.
Moving a significant amount of freight from the roads to rail
or water would relieve congestion on the roads, reduce noise pollution
on many major roads and reduce substantially the wear and tear
on the motorways and major roads. HS2 correctly suggest that more
freight could be run on the WCML. However one freight train over
Shap uses three pathways for Pendolinos. Thus increasing significantly
the freight on the WCML could substantially reduce the number
of intercity trains on a particular route. Developing a well thought
out National Transport Infra structure Plan would resolve such
conflicts, and would almost certainly change the infrastructure
spending priorities. The southern part of the WCML is currently
4 tracks, but there are crossovers between fast and slow lines.
Resolving the pinch points offers the opportunity to have a dedicated
freight line and a dedicated fast train line.
4. The strategic route
1. The proposed route to the West Midlands
has stations at Euston, Old Oak Common, Birmingham International
and Birmingham Curzon Street. Are these the best possible locations?
What criteria should be used to assess the case for more (or fewer)
Not responded to.
2. Which cities should be served by an eventual
high speed network? Is the proposed Y configuration the right
The proposed "Y" is not the best solution
to meet the Government's objectives of:
(1) reducing Carbon Emissions;
(2) healing the North South Divide See Q 5.1;
(3) allowing access to HSR for the maximum number
A route which follows the M1, and serves Glasgow,
Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester, would also be able
to serve Sheffield, Doncaster, Nottingham and Luton. This configuration
would serve more than 70% of the current travelers to London.
The length of the line, with appropriate acceleration and deceleration
tracks would enable HSR trains to run at full speed over most
of their journey, thus creating more capacity if needed.
The faster a train runs, the straighter the track
needs to be. This reduces the flexibility of design to follow
contours, avoid Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and villages
and towns. Running trains at lower speeds offers both carbon benefits
and the ability to materially reduce the damage to countryside
and communities. It also enables an HSR track to follow the contours
of a motorway more easily. One of the decisions we need to make
on this small crowded island is between speed and the environment.
As business people are able to work on trains, taking slightly
longer has some significant advantages. This has been borne out
recently by the Chinese announcement that they will limit their
HSR to 300kph both to reduce cost and to improve safety. Mr Hammond
and Prof MacNaughton, HS2's chief engineer are well documented
as wanting to run HSR the way the Chinese do.
3. Is the Government correct to build the
network in stages, moving from London northwards?
Once we have a National Transport Infrastructure
Plan, building an HSR in stages would be possible. This would
give the opportunity to build it in areas such as Manchester to
Leeds and Newcastle earlier providing both an immediate economic
boost locally, but also improving the connectivity significantly
4. The Government proposes a link to HS1 as
part of Phase 1 but a direct link to Heathrow only as part of
Phase 2. Are those the right decisions?
The electrification of the Great West Main Line (GWML)
offers the opportunity with some planning to link HS1 and HS2
to Heathrow, via London, with the creation of a station at Heathrow.
This would also improve the links from Cardiff and Bristol to
Heathrow. Network Rail has already looked at moving the Heathrow
Express from Paddington to Euston. Such a development would offer
an earlier connection with the opportunity to reduce flights from
5. Economic rebalancing and equity
1. What evidence is there that HSR will promote
economic regeneration and help bridge the north-south economic
There has been a lot of debate over economic regeneration.
In our opinion HS2 has not researched regeneration thoroughly.
What is clear is that when you join two economic units together,
the larger unit takes the lion's share of the job creation. HS2
has confirmed this by showing that 73% of the jobs created will
be in London. Lille is held out an example of regeneration from
HSR. I have worked in Lille, and certainly the centre has benefited,
but the suburbs are still badly blighted. Comparisons of unemployment
levels show that Lille has not improved it's overall unemployment
rates compared to France overall. The effect of HSR is at best
a redistribution of employment from surrounding to communities
to the community best served by HSR. When one looks at economic
growth points in the UK e.g. the Thames Valley and Leeds - Manchester,
the clear link is improved connectivity with the M4 and M62 acting
as catalysts. Economic growth in the North would be better served
by improving links between Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds - Bradford,
Sheffield, Doncaster, Newcastle and Teesside. Certainly Manchester
and Leeds have been urging an HSR link. The M1 route would provide
this more easily than the "Y", particularly as the necessary
tunnels already exist, but are not currently used. We believe
that the issue of connecting to Edinburgh and Glasgow also needs
to be addressed to provide certainty for investment in Scotland.
2. To what extent should the shape of the
network be influenced by the desirability of supporting local
and regional regeneration?
We believe that this is one element which needs to
be considered. We are of the opinion that this should be part
of the remit of a National Transport Infrastructure Plan. This
would give the opportunity to use the appropriate transport solution.
In urban areas, this might be to give priority to commuter centric
solutions, whether train, road or bus.
3. Which locations and socio-economic groups
will benefit from HSR?
With regard to locations, please see the answer to
5.1. The beneficiaries of HSR will change depending on the fare
structure and the capacity available. In general the wealthier
would benefit more. However looking at HS1, many of the users
going to Disneyworld Paris are from a broad socioeconomic background.
Because of the relatively low capacity utilization, competitive
rail/hotel packages are available.
4. How should the Government ensure that all
major beneficiaries of HSR (including local authorities and business
interests) make an appropriate financial contribution and bear
risks appropriately? Should the Government seek support from the
EU's TEN-T programme?
The issue of financing HSR needs to be addressed
once the economic decision to build is proven. I there is a clear
cut benefit to the Country as a whole, then the Country as whole
should bear the cost. If local regeneration through HSR proves
successful, then local business will pay it's share through increased
rates, rents and Corporation Tax.
Funding from the EU may be sought, but the pathetic
link proposed between HS1 and HS2 would lead the EU not to regard
the proposal seriously.
1. What will be the overall impact of HSR
on UK carbon emissions? How much modal shift from aviation and
roads would be needed for HSR to reduce carbon?
With regard to Carbon emissions, HS2 is correct in
saying that it will rely on the carbon footprint of the Electricity
Generating industry to reduce its carbon usage, assuming that
more nuclear, wind and wave power is generated. There is however
another factor which needs to be considered. Trains traveling
at 360kph use approximately three times the power of trains operating
at 250kph. Thus whatever the UK Electricity Generating industry's
carbon footprint is, classic rail will use substantially less
carbon that HSR.
HS2's own figures show HS2 to be broadly neutral
in Carbon emission terms, with an assumed shift of 8% from road
and 8% from air. There would need to be a substantially higher
shift to make a significant impact. The dhift from air will help
to free up slots at Heathrow, but these will be taken by long-haul
flights, which have a higher carbon footprint.
2. Are environmental costs and benefits (including
in relation to noise) correctly accounted for in the business
There are costs relating to noise reduction included
in the business case. Whether these are sufficient will only be
able to be determined when an Environmental Impact Assessment
However there are no disbenefits included for the
damage to the environment, loss of tranquility, impacts on rural
businesses or disturbance to wildlife, loss of ancient woodland.
3. What would be the impact on freight services
on the "classic" network?
Theoretically removal of train services from the
"classic" network would free up more capacity for freight.
However there are also opportunities to improve commuter services.
The development of a National Transport Infrastructure Plan would
give the opportunity to resolve these conflicts.
4. How much disruption will be there to services
on the "classic" network during construction, particularly
during the rebuilding of Euston?
We believe that there would be considerable disruption.
The disbenefit arising from this has been included in the business
RESTATEMENT OF ECONOMIC CASE 2010 AND 2011
ON THE SAME PRESENTATION BASIS
|2010 in New|
|Transport user benefits - Business||17.6
|Other quantifiable benefits excl carbon
|Loss to government of indirect taxes||
|Net Transport Benefits||28.7
|Wider economic impacts||3.6
|Net Benefits incl WEIs||32.3
|Loss to government of indirect taxes||1.5
|Net Costs to government||11.9
|BCR without WEIs||2.4||2.6
|BCR with WEIs||2.7||2.9