Written evidence from the South Yorkshire
Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) on behalf of the South Yorkshire
Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) and Sheffield City Region
(SCR) (HSR 77)
1. What are the main arguments either for
or against HSR?
1. We believe the main argument for High Speed
Rail (HSR) is economicthat it would help the continued
growth of regional cities by widening produce and labour markets,
and attracting inward investment. Analysis indicates that to the
eastern city regions of the North East, Tees Valley, Leeds, Sheffield
and East Midlands, HSR is worth over £70 million
per annum in productivity benefits alone.
2. Our analysis also shows that the Eastern Network
provides a further contribution to the national economy of £4.2
in productivity, imperfect competition and capacity release benefits.
This level of contribution demonstrates that building HSR is imperative
to the economic future of the UK.
3. We also agree with the Government's analysis
that without further inter-urban capacity, rail overcrowding will
undermine connectivity and agree that new rail lines offer a better
solution than upgrading existing lines.
4. Current rail connections between Sheffield
and other major cities are slow compared to other regional cities
and London. The introduction of high speed links to Sheffield
would significantly enhance the rail offer to London and other
2. How does HSR fit with the Government's
transport policy objectives?
5. Sheffield City Region (SCR) has made a commitment
to facilitate the delivery of HSR in our city region's third Local
Transport Plan (LTP3).
6. However, to ensure the benefits of HSR are
maximised we want to see HSR fit within a coherent strategy to
deliver economic objectives, strongly supported by a sound evidence
2.1 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?
7. High speed, inter-urban connectivity is an
essential requirement for economic productivity. The SCR LTP3
argues that the most significant improvements to business connectivity
(both in terms of speed and capacity) are only possible via rail
As such; inter-urban rail connectivity forms a key policy focus,
whilst for roads the focus should be on reliability.
8. Connectivity between major centres which form
the gateway to wider connectivity is also an essential requirement.
This is also reflected in our LTP3, which highlights the key role
that the "classic" rail network (and public transport
services and the strategic highway) will play in providing access
between the key major centres in SCR. Again, only rail can offer
significant speed and capacity improvements. Road investments
should be focused on improving reliability and maximising use
of the existing assets.
2.2 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?
9. HSR and investment in the "classic"
network should complement each other. There should be no reduction
in funding on the "classic" network because of HSR.
Indeed, investments in the classic network will be essential before
HSR is built, therefore spending on northern rail infrastructure
should be increased if the benefits of HSR are to be maximised:
provide interim enhancements, such as electrification of the Midland
Main line, potential improvements to Sheffield Midland station
or release of bottlenecks on the East Coast line; ahead of HSR;
to maximise use of the "classic" network, if it is to
benefit from the released capacity that HSR brings.
10. Our analysis shows that the capacity benefits
released on the Eastern Classic Networks total £0.8 billion
It is vital that a strategic network is provided and can efficiently
cater for the different journey types. This means that early consideration
must be made to the overall timetable shape of the whole northern
railway in the light of HSR. Innovative solutions to connect up
more towns (such as HuddersfieldBarnsleyRotherhamDoncasterPeterboroughLondon
must be considered, and service paths on the East Coast Mainline
(ECML) and Midland Mainline (MML) to the north must be protected
11. Our emerging analysis indicates that 30%
of economic benefits relate to inter-regional connectivity throughout
the Eastern Network when integrating HSR with the Classic Network.
HSR must be complimented by a Classic Service which:
long distance services.
the spare capacity to enhance the existing service and offer additional
improvements to existing routes so that long distance and regional
services can be enhanced.
2.3 What are the implications for domestic
12. No response to this question.
3. Business case
3.1 How robust are the assumptions and methodologyfor
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?
12. The appraisal methodology used by HS2 for
quantifying all economic benefits makes conservative assumptions,
which HS2 acknowledge means the business case is a cautious estimate.
13. The evidence from Asia and other European
high speed rail projects
demonstrates that if the methodology for the UK north-south HSR
links considers the job creation, regeneration and business relocation
and expansion then the business case would be significantly enhanced.
For this, it is essential to capture the dynamics of land use
and employment over the time period through employing the Land-Use
Transport Interaction or computable general equilibrium type models.
14. In addition to land-use changes, the likely
increase in land and property prices including public realm should
be included in the appraisal methodology. The consideration and
valuation of important non-monetised benefits/costs on the environment
and communities must be taken into account in the appraisal process.
15. The potential "transformational"
benefits of the HSR are not captured in the business case. In
our response to the Government HSR consultation we are urging
the Government to consider these impacts so that a stronger and
more rounded economic case for regional growth and "rebalancing
the economy" is presented.
16. The HSR link delivers a range of benefits
(including connectivity, travel time and frequency enhancements).
The modeling methodology utilised should consider all these benefits
in the short and long term.
17. The modeling approach should also focus on
the relationship between the HSR network and regional and local
transport networks. HSR benefits are likely to be substantially
higher with aligned investment in local transport to support efficient
access and egress, and supportive land use policies.
3.2 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?
18. The SCR view is that upgrading the "classic"
network or building a new conventional line would fail to secure
the Government's objectives in the long term, as set out in our
answer to question 1.
19. Investment in the "classic" network
alone could potentially be more rapidly achieved in comparison
to the timescales for HSR. However, in isolation this would only
form a temporary solution. Such interim improvements, however,
would be essential as set out in question 2.2.
20. Another method of managing over-crowding
would be to increase prices, however, this could potentially stifle
economic growth, or isolate northern economies from London and
each other, and hence reducing effective connectivity.
21. Failure to adequately invest in rail runs
the risk of forcing people onto less sustainable modes of transport,
encouraging poor travel habits and increasing carbon emissions.
3.3 What would be the pros and cons of alternative
means of managing demand for rail travel, for example by price?
22. No response to this question.
3.4 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?
23. HSR would be a substantial project. It is
therefore important that all partners are able to plan accordingly.
Political, financial and programme planning certainty is critical.
Though the network is to be phased, a project plan which gives
detailed key milestones for the whole network will give the north
the confidence and certainty to plan for the future.
4. The strategic route
4.1 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)
24. SCR has no detailed view on the locations
for stations between LondonWest Midlands.
25. However, the criterion for option appraisal
for stations further north is important to SCR. The number of
stops on the HSR network has an effect on the business case. The
direct transport benefits require the service to have minimum
disruption to the speed between the major UK cities. These wider
economic benefits will be enhanced by the higher catchments HSR
serves. A balance therefore must be struck, which we believe favours
city centre (or close to city centre) locations on the main line.
4.2 Which cities should be served by an eventual
high speed network? Is the proposed Y configuration the right
26. We believe that the proposed Y is a sensible
starting point, but cannot be the aspiration for the full network.
Ideally we would want to see all regions connected by high speed
27. We understand the rationale for the Y, and
the need for a single London terminus to reduce costs. However,
we are concerned that the capacity (18 trains per hour) is based
upon signal technology not yet in existence, and with a risk that
it is not achievable. For reasons we discuss later, we would want
the paths to the eastern arm of the Y (already only six of the
18) protected as a priority.
28. It is important that the East Coast Mainline
receives planned upgrades throughout the coming years. Any released
capacity could be utilised to serve new destinations along the
29. In 2010, studies undertaken by Arup and Volterra
on behalf of the Leeds and Sheffield city regions demonstrated
that the new Y shaped network presented a BCR of 2.46
compared with 1.88 for the "reverse S". This was due
to the overwhelming rationale of the increased population served
on the eastern side of Pennines. We are therefore content that
the Y outperforms other alignments that only have a single London
30. The Sheffield City Region has a population
of 1.6 million people and 650,000 jobs. Being able to connect
SCR with regions on the Eastern Network such as East Midlands,
Leeds and the North East would serve more than 8.7 million people
and 3.6 million jobs.
4.3 Is the Government correct to build the
network in stages, moving from London northwards?
31. For such a substantial project, in principle,
Sheffield City Region understand the need for the procedure for
bringing separate Hybrid Bills forward for London-Birmingham and
the wider network in order to make the process manageable. However,
we would want as much commitment as possible to the whole network
in the first Hybrid Bill and associated Government policy. At
the very least this commitment should include the full network
in any planning statements and "National Infrastructure Policy
32. Analysis has determined that the Western
Network has a BCR of 2.6, whilst the Eastern Network provides
a BCR of 5.6.
Additionally the Arup & Volterra studies in 2011 demonstrate
that Wider Economic Impacts follow a similar pattern. The productivity
benefits of bringing businesses closer together for the eastern
part of the network (£2.6 billion) are around 20% higher
than those for the western part (£2.1 billion).
This evidence suggests that there is a much stronger case for
taking the northern arms of the Y ahead in parallel, or with the
Eastern arm first, given the higher BCR of that arm, and the larger
economic markets that would be served.
33. DfT consultation indicates six trains per
hour from London would service the Eastern Network. Our analysis
demonstrates that 70%
of the productivity benefits of the Eastern network are created
by faster journeys to London, with at least six trains per hour
required. Therefore, this level of service on the Eastern Network
should be kept as a minimum specification for the HSR network.
4.4 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?
34. We would like to see more details about the
service patterns that would result from the HS1-HS2 link. Our
understanding is that the current plan does not include through
services from northern cities. Instead continental bound trains
would depart from Old Oak Common. While the logic relating to
demand and security on international services is understood here,
a better understanding of the details would be helpful.
35. SCR welcomes a direct link to Heathrow as
part of HSR's overall long term strategy, and our businesses indicate
that a direct link to Heathrow would be highly valued. Again,
more details on the service patterns would be essential before
a measured view can be taken.
36. We believe that Government should consider
the merits of linking the HS2 line to the Midland Main Line. This
would balance out the current regional imbalance in the HS2 proposal,
which would see HS2 trains serving the North West (on the existing
WCML) some seven years before the North East. We welcome Government
consideration of this issue.
5. Economic rebalancing and equity
5.1 What evidence is there that HSR will promote
economic regeneration and help bridge the north-south economic
37. As we believe the main rationale for HSR
is economic growth, we would like to see more national macro-economic
consideration and evidence of how the scheme may bridge the north-south
divide from a national perspective.
38. Locally, work undertaken by the Leeds and
Sheffield city regions demonstrate that a HSR national network
will provide economic growth for northern regions, as quoted elsewhere
in this response. These figures are also likely to understate
the true benefits as they do not include inward investment and
higher underlying growth as a result of redistribution impacts.
5.2 To what extent should the shape of the
network be influenced by the desirability of supporting local
and regional regeneration?
39. The national objective of economic growth
and supporting a low carbon environment can be realised through
local and regional regeneration. As mentioned earlier, we believe
regeneration is not just dependant on the shape of the network
(which has to meet demand)), but about the supporting infrastructure
to provide connectivity between the rest of the city region and
the high speed rail station.
5.3 Which locations and socio-economic groups
will benefit from HSR?
40. Our approach to HSR is that the benefits
must be spread across the city region. This is via several aspects:
from the station and associated developments around it;
from having good access to the station for business or other travel;
from connectivity benefits from freed up capacity on the classic
From this type of approach our ambition would be
for as many Social and Economic Groups to benefit as possible.
5.4 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?
41. To maximise the transport benefits of HSR,
and allow the supporting infrastructure to be planned and delivered,
the Government should ensure that national and Local Authority
expenditure is planned in advance to give planning certainty to
Local Authorities. This should be undertaken in partnership with
all local authorities who will benefit from HSR.
6.1 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?
42. In order to reduce the carbon emission to
a considerable low level, some complementary measures to the introduction
of HSR are essentially needed. For example, HSR should switch
to carbon free or neutral energy production, attract a substaintial
mode shift from road and aviation, accompany by introduction of
measures to increase car occupancy, encourage rail frieght by
switching it from road, and support "code sharing" with
aviation on low demand domestic routes.
43. Operationally, HSR is only as low carbon
as the energy used to power it.
6.2 Are environmental costs and benefits (including
in relation to noise) correctly accounted for in the business
44. It is necessary to acknowledge that the business
case considered the environmental impact and followed the DfT
WebTAG and DMRB guidelines. However, as a result it is subject
to the limitations of these techniques, particularly around non-monetised
6.3 What would be the impact on freight services
on the "classic" network?
potentially provides opportunities to promote a shift of freight
traffic from road to classic rail,
via released capacity.
6.4 How much disruption will there be to services
on the "classic" network during construction, particularly
during the rebuilding of Euston?
46. No response to this question.
103 Data from "Eastern network Partnership"
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