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A new strategy for UK high-speed rail: a catalyst for economic growth

A new strategy for UK high-speed rail: a catalyst for economic growth

According to the High Speed ​​Rail Group (HSRG), a comprehensive long-term strategy to develop the UK's interurban rail network is critical to future economic growth and meeting climate targets. The group, which brings together expertise in technology, operations, finance and regulation, has published a new report urging political parties to increase the capacity of high-speed rail in the UK beyond the existing HS2 high-speed plan.

The report “High Speed ​​Rail: Harnessing the Potential” makes five recommendations for the next government. HSRG believes that if these are implemented, the UK can provide the capacity and connectivity the country desperately needs for sustainable development.

Fixing Britain's rail woes

Britain's reputation for high-speed rail and infrastructure has been tarnished since large parts of the HS2 project were cancelled. At the same time, rival countries are advancing with their high-speed networks. “European neighbors continue to benefit from the huge benefits of high-speed rail,” the report said. “UK's networks fall victim to short-term thinking and political considerations.”

To reverse this trend, HSRG urges policymakers to learn from past mistakes and develop a long-term strategy that includes alternative financing models to harness private investment. It can deliver new high-speed solutions faster and cheaper than ever before.

Prioritize important areas

The report emphasizes the importance of prioritizing new connections in areas of high demand. A new link between the North West of England, including Birmingham and Manchester, is thought to be necessary to ease major bottlenecks on the West Coast Main Line and improve connectivity between the UK's second and third largest cities. The problems on the West Coast became apparent last week when a freight train derailed and halted all traffic.

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The HSRG's recommendations for the next government include a new east-west link across the north of England, from Liverpool to Hull, through all major cities in the north. This will stimulate economic growth and increase productivity in the regions. In addition, a funding model is required to complete Euston station in London and approve a route from Old Oak Common to Euston.

Explore all financing options

“Before deciding on the next phase, it's important to take a step back and look at the UK's high-speed network as a whole,” said Dean Perry, chairman of the High Speed ​​Rail Group. “A comprehensive high-speed rail strategy and creative thinking are needed to unlock maximum investment for the UK to meet its growth and climate targets.”

HSRG is calling for immediate action to retain existing HS2 land and avoid expensive sales of land on derelict lines north of Birmingham. They also want the government to engage with infrastructure investors to explore all funding options. In addition, they propose the resumption of a three-hour journey time between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh, which would strengthen economic and social ties between the two countries.

The High Speed ​​Rail Group insists that smart and long-term decisions are necessary to maximize wider benefits and reach areas crying out for investment.

Source: Raw Tech News