Why we welcome the HS2 Bill

25 November 2013

He said: ‘We believe Britain needs not only a new high speed rail line but a high speed rail network. We would, ideally, like to see HS2 run the length of the United Kingdom, being built from Scotland and the south at the same time, meeting in the middle, linking HS1 and going via Heathrow.

‘While that is not what is on the table, and in the Bill, we welcome the proposal even if it doesn’t go far enough. It’s a major infrastructure project which will help bring Britain out of recession. And a project which will help bring our railway into the 21st century.

‘The number of passengers on our railways has doubled since 1995 while rail freight traffic has risen by 65% over the same period. The existing rail network is operating at near full capacity and neither new motorways nor domestic air travel are environmentally sustainable options to meet the mobility requirements of a British population expected to grow by 10 million by 2033.

‘Upgrades to the current network and longer trains will not be able to meet peak demand or provide the necessary enhancements to local services or freight. The consequences of insufficient capacity on our rail network would be disastrous for the British economy with major implications for our domestic and international competitiveness.

‘That’s why we think it is time for politicians to show real vision and commitment to a transport policy for the long-term including the development of a high speed rail network.’

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