Welsh Affairs CommitteeWritten evidence from M&G Barry Consulting Ltd

This paper to be read in conjunction with Mark Barry’s submission to the Transport Select Committee in July 2011 on behalf of the Cardiff Business Partnership (CBP).

This is an update to reflect announcements and developments since July 2011.

Summary of the Original Submission in July 2011

£32 billion HS2 linking London, The Midlands, The North of England and Scotland could, according to DfT, generate economic benefits of £40 billion and 40,000 new jobs from Phase 1.

HS2 would bring most major English and Scottish cities >30 minutes closer to London.

As a result, Cardiff would be further away in travel time to London than every major English city apart from Newcastle.

Greengauge21/KPMG economic analysis of HSR network found that Wales and SW England would have 21,000 and 48,000 fewer jobs respectively than would be the case if HS2 not developed. That analysis assumed GWML would be electrified. (See Figure 1)

Figure 1


Figure 2


CBP’s primary argument was that a corresponding investment along the GWML was required to improve services and especially journey times, so that Cardiff and South Wales are not economically disadvantage by HS2.

Relevant Developments and Announcements since July 2011

DfT confirm funds available for GWML Heathrow link from the west (detail tbc) to be complete by ~2021.

DfT confirmed the electrification of the GWML all the way to Swansea and the procurement of new Hitachi IEP intercity express trains for the route:

Stated journey time improvements suggest Cardiff to London in 1hr 45 mins. This was the journey time in the 1980s and is still >30 minutes slower than the London Manchester journey once HS2 is complete (See Figure 2).

Tender documents for new GW Franchise published.

The Great Western Partnership in conjunction with Greengauge21 have published a “Conditional Output Statement” (COS) calling for a series of incremental enhancements to the GWML (as Mark Barry had done in the original Transcom Submission) that would, by the time HS2 is complete, deliver:

Cardiff to London journey times of 1hour 15 minutes.

Direct access/services to Heathrow from South Wales.

A Direct link from the GWML to HS1 to enable through services to Europe.

A more integrated Severnside Metro service to link Swansea, Cardiff and Bristol.

DfT confirm HS2 will go ahead and not on a direct route via Heathrow.

The lack of clarity in UK airport policy—esp. as regards Heathrow and 3rd runway.

Alternate plans for airports have also been presented (Thames Estuary & Oxfordshire).

Plans for a Severn Barrage have re-emerged which could enable alternate rail corridor

Figure 3


Given the above, Mark Barry’s believes the following should be undertaken:

That the Greengauge21/GWP COS is incorporated into DfT planning for the development of the GWML out to 2030.

That work to link the GWML from the west with Heathrow is clarified and accelerated and developed to be consistent with HS2 Heathrow Spur and HS2 links.

That the development of the HS2 Heathrow Spur and HS1 connection include GWML connections.

If a new airport is developed to augment/replace Heathrow, then high speed rail access from Wales/SW England to a new airport location is addressed.

That the potential for a rail link across a possible Severn Barrage is explored.

September 2012

Prepared 5th March 2013