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					High Speed 2 White Paper, March 2010, and Comments
General background:

      UK requires a step-change in capacity between largest conurbations over next
       20-30 years. The recession doesn’t alter this
      Modernisation of existing lines costs too much and delivers insufficient benefits
      High Speed 1 - delivered on time and on budget - has been an immediate
       success and has finally convinced the doubters (Channel Tunnel to St. Pancras
       in 30 minutes)
      Opening of St. Pancras station was a turning point in UK awareness
      Major benefits of new lines accrue on existing lines (released capacity)
      Major expansion of motorways and domestic air services henceforth ruled out
      New HS rail lines delivers against all key Government objectives, notably carbon
       and safety, and has All Party support
      Time spent travelling on rail is productive (or recreational, or restful)
      Major “agglomeration” benefits from reducing travel times between London,
       Birmingham Manchester, Leeds etc (e.g. estimated £2bn for London-Birmingham
       over 60 years)
      HS rail should therefore be at the heart of long term transport strategy, and has a
       transformational role to play

Funding?

      Government grants
      User charges (fares and catering)
      Non-user charges (retailing at stations, advertising)
      Possible air passenger duty/carbon taxes
      Supplementary business rates?
      Possible supplementary Council Tax levy?
      Other public sector funding such as local authorities and Regional Development
       Agencies for some aspects
      Developer contributions (for stations)

Bringing High Speed Rail to NW England:

      British Rail InterCity planned a route in the 1980s, in outline, then gave up
      In the 1990s, the West Coast Rail 250 Campaign began to canvass opinion on
       the concept of a route, in the mid-1990s, and the aspiration was embedded in
       regional planning
      NW was very active in campaigning for Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1)
      Greengauge 21 has been campaigning for a UK HS network for several years
      The NWBLT has been campaigning hard for a North West-London HS route for
       five years
      Other recent campaigns have started, notably the “Eleven Cities” campaign
      The present Government was not a convert to HS rail, until the arrival of Lord
       Adonis, but it is now widely seen as top priority

For HS2, Government’s assessment of the case is:
      Initial planned 335 mile core network should link London, Birmingham,
       Manchester and London, East Midlands, Sheffield, Leeds, at up to 250mph
      The southern section of HS2 from London to Birmingham, including new stations
       at Euston, Old Oak Common (where all trains would call), Birmingham
       Interchange (where all Birmingham services and some NW services would call)
       and Birmingham Curzon Street, is viable
      Route follows the A413 corridor with a mix of tunnelling and surface alignments
       (much of this in cutting), and this route is both economical and performs well as a
       High Speed line
      Building this southern section alone is not the optimal way forward as northern
       sections (north of Birmingham) are cheaper, and the journey time savings (from
       just a southern section) to points further north are insufficient, and the southern
       section alone doesn’t deliver maximum benefits to the NW, East Midlands and
       Yorkshire
      Old Oak Common will provide onward connections to Central London, Heathrow
       and Crossrail
      Birmingham Interchange will give links to Birmingham Airport, the NEC and the
       local motorways
      Detailed design of London-Birmingham will be carried out 2011-13
      2014-19 Hybrid Bill through Parliament, and tendering (seems very protracted)
      London-Birmingham constructed 2019-26 (again, seems protracted)
      Initial network should include onward rail operation onto existing “classic” lines
      Assessment partly depends on consultation and forthcoming detailed work on
       Manchester and Leeds routes
      Government’s view on the latter is “the potential benefits from (high speed)
       connections to Manchester and Leeds are sufficiently high, and the credibility of
       the project sufficiently strong, that these links should be planned as part of
       Britain’s initial core high speed network, subject to effective route planning and
       public consultation, and to the confirmation of the provisional benefits and
       economic case for the Manchester and Leeds extensions”
      Also “the Government believes it imperative that Scotland and Northern England
       should gain the benefits of high speed services from the outset of any network”
      Carbon implications broadly neutral
      Cost of southern section (to Birmingham and Lichfield) £16-£17bn
      Initial consultation on the southern section will begin late 2010
      Consultation (second, more detailed, round) 2013-14
      London-Birmingham rail capacity trebles with HS2’s completion
      Major benefits accrue to intermediate areas on WCML, eg Milton Keynes South
       Midlands, facilitating sustainable growth

Some headlines on services and time savings:

      Initial service of 11 trains per hour on London-Birmingham Interchange section,
       initial capacity of 14 tph, rising later to 18 tph
      Ultimate timings (with HS2 to Manchester) would be 75-80mins to Manchester
       (128 today) and 96mins to Liverpool (130 today). So 48-53 min saving for
       Manchester, 34 min saving for Liverpool, if HS2 reaches NW
      Use of Crossrail gives further door to door journey time savings, eg Manchester-
       London West End down from 149mins to 87mins (saving 62mins)
      London-Birmingham timing would be 49 minutes
      Savings on NE arm are 140mins down to 80mins London-Leeds and 129mins
       down to 75mins, Sheffield
      Birmingham-Manchester timings reduce from 90mins to 40mins (most dramatic of
       all?), and Birmingham-Liverpool from 94mins down to 60mins

Justifying the extensions northwards from Birmingham:

      Manchester and Leeds to be built “over the succeeding years”, subject to
       Parliamentary approval and economics
      West Midlands to Manchester would cost £5bn-£6bn
      West Midlands to Yorkshire would cost £6bn (and Yorkshire-North East, if built, a
       further £5bn)
      Additional HS extensions should follow where justified (Liverpool specifically
       mentioned), but no dates in White Paper
      Potentially strong business case for lines to Glasgow and Edinburgh, but much
       further work required to identify options/costs
      Manchester-Scotland extension would include a station marked “Lancashire” (is
       this near or at Preston?) and would cost £15bn
      London-Glasgow with a HS line built as far as Manchester would be 210mins
       (compared with 270mins)
      Opportunity for Manchester to become the intermediate stop between London
       and Glasgow
      Released capacity on existing lines to be used for additional freight and improved
       semi-fast and local services (these latter are poor under current WCML timetable)
      HS2Co will now commence planning work on Birmingham-Manchester and
       Birmingham-Leeds, to be completed summer 2011 with public consultation early
       2012

International links through to HS1 and Europe, and Links into Heathrow:

      Issue of links to HS1 still unresolved. Lack of a link in White Paper widely
       criticised
      HS2Co are investigating Euston-St. Pancras people-mover or direct new HS rail
       link or direct classic link via WCML, prior to consultation
      A new HS2-Barking/HS1 tunnel would cost £3.5bn, but a shorter HS2-HS1 link
       via WCML and NLL would cost £500m
      Issue over gauge-clearance of international trains to North (if operated)
      Opportunity for European mainland operators to commence through regional
       services (and also additional services from London southwards)
      Still a question-mark over serving Heathrow (possibly by new station at Iver)

Other aspects:

      £30bn cost for London-Manchester/Leeds, so need to find ways of reducing costs
      Higher costs in UK due to continental railways not building new routes in urban
       areas (spare capacity was still available), are already EU gauge, and simpler
       contractual relationships, plus UK optimism bias is self-fulfilling (due to cost
       overruns)
      Government seeking third-party contributions towards costs of lines/stations
      Construction of HS2 to Birmingham/Lichfield “over seven years” (2017-24?) could
       generate 10,000 new jobs
      Proposals have been widely welcomed in media and by public, but strong local
       objections from Chilterns
      There is proposed to be an Exceptional Hardship Scheme for those affected by
       HS2. Five blocks of flats at Euston will need to be demolished, and the Chiltern
       route is highly controversial
      Proposals won’t complicate West Coast re-franchising from 2012, as new
       franchise may only run until 2026/completion of HS2. But bidders may offer HS
       proposals of their own?

Plans announced by Adonis are not exactly as recommended by HS2Co:

      Adonis network is for a “Y” as far as Manchester and Leeds
      HS2Co recommendation was for an “inverted A” network, with legs reaching as
       far as Glasgow/Edinburgh (on west side) and Newcastle (on east side)
      £52bn cost of “inverted A”, with benefit ratio of 2.3 (compared with Adonis “Y”
       network of 2.4)
      Adonis decided against directly serving Heathrow (construction would be slower,
       would cost additional £3bn, Heathrow site too dispersed)
      Adonis also decided “crossbar” in “inverted A” network (high-speed Manchester-
       Leeds route) could be created by upgrading existing route (saving £4bn)

Details of London-Birmingham HS2 Stage One route:

      Rebuilt and expanded £1bn Euston, extending (in phases) the site to the west
       and south, with 10 platforms serving HS2 and 14 serving classic services. Would
       also include a rebuilding of the congested Underground ticket hall
      Alternatives rejected included Kings Cross/St. Pancras (on site of Great Northern
       goods depot) and 26 other sites. TfL favours Euston (important)
      All trains stop at Old Oak Common to connect with Crossrail, Heathrow Express
       and GWML (and possible future Airtrack route). Crossrail interchange offers far
       more benefits than a Heathrow station, and Heathrow site is dispersed anyway
      Follows existing Chiltern Line corridor. Leaves London near Ruislip. Enters tunnel
       at M25 as far as Amersham, then runs west of Wendover and Aylesbury, partly in
       tunnels. Route part-follows A413. Then follows trackbed of former Great Central,
       then north-west through Warwickshire. Route is viable, subject to costs of
       environmental mitigation work
      Other routes investigated follow M1, M40, WCML and also new alignments. All
       these are significantly inferior
      Passes between Kenilworth and Coventry, then crosses WCML Birmingham line
       at Berkswell
      Enters Birmingham near Water Orton
      No intermediate station (after Old Oak Common) until Birmingham Interchange
      Birmingham Interchange connected to WCML, Airport, NEC etc via people-mover
      Short spur (from triangular junction) into Birmingham Curzon Street (close to
       Moor Street)
      Onward route to connect into existing WCML near Lichfield
      Detailed assessment of second-phase extension of routes to Manchester and
       Leeds to be completed by summer 2011
      HS2Co to evaluate business case and options for a (similar to Birmingham
       Interchange) station at Manchester Airport

Rolling stock:

      Longer trains, of up to 400m (compared with 207m 9-car Pendolino), but can run
       as half-trains (still large)
      Speed of 225-250mph
      Capacity of 1,100 passengers per 400m train
      Two train fleets, one HS2-captive and one HS2/classic. Classic sets, which can
       run off HS2 onto existing lines, will need retractable steps. Fleets will “cascade”
       forwards as network grows? - will this occur for Manchester?

Freight aspects:

      No specific intention to run freight on HS2, but opportunity there to run piggyback
       etc from EU to Midlands/North. Important to consider this when planning any
       HS2/HS1 link (this has been raised with Lord Adonis)
      HS2 route would be too crowded for daytime freight, but a small number of
       piggyback paths could operate very late-night? - need to consider
      Major HS2 effect will be release of capacity on classic route for freight, but that
       won’t include piggyback

Initial consultation by HS2Co is to cover three key issues:

      Detailed recommendations for HS2 as far as Birmingham
      Strategic case for HS rail in the UK
      Government’s proposals for initial core network

Extending HS2 Phase I onwards to Manchester

      Brings (in round terms) further time savings of 20mins
      Brings in significant additional benefits of £8.1bn at (relatively) moderate costs
      Important step in terms of HS link to Scotland
      Relative flows on HS2Co’s model suggest that serving Scotland by the West
       Coast is preferable

Extending HS2 Phase 1 to Yorkshire (as planned by HS2Co)

      Costs of Leeds extension are about 95% higher than Manchester extension, but
       are still (relatively) low
      Opens up entirely new markets (Sheffield, Leeds) and brings step-change in time
       savings
      Work suggests a strong business case , where additional revenues come close to
       covering both construction and operating costs
      A “second leg” of HS2 (HS3?) could eventually be built (role of Leicester and
       Nottingham may be pivotal)

Aspects of the plans of particular interest to the NW of England
      Manchester (and Leeds) to be on initial network, but not first stage of it
      Manchester to be reached via Old Oak Common and Birmingham Interchange -
       reasonably direct route but not a straight line
      Opportunity to place Manchester Airport on the London-Manchester route (at
       expense of Stockport)
      Scotland to be reached via Manchester (and possibly via Manchester Airport as
       well), rather than via Warrington, or Leeds, etc
      Only the calling-points that will be included in the eventual HS network will be
       included in the “classic-compatible” network
      Service of 3 trains per hour to Manchester
      Initial journey time saving for Manchester of about 25-30 minutes (new best time
       of 100 minutes) when HS2 south of Lichfield is built
      Probability of this reducing by a further 20 minutes to 75-80 minutes when HS2
       reaches Manchester
      Service of 2 trains per hour to Liverpool, one via Runcorn and one via Warrington
      Initial journey time saving of just under 20mins (new best time of 110mins)
       Question-mark over additional stops at Liverpool South Parkway and St. Helens
       Junction
      Further time reduction when HS2 is extended, depending on where it is extended
       to
      One train per hour London-Preston-Glasgow, plus peak-hour extras, with journey
       time saving of about 30mins (new best time of 4 hours)

A Manchester to Leeds (Trans Pennine) extension?

      Costs would be high
      Improving the existing route is the preferred strategy for HS2Co, Conservatives
       prefer new line

Some possible problems?

      Finance during a severe recession
      Severe local opposition, especially from the Chilterns but also from those who
       want all investment to go primarily into existing classic network
      Other towns/cities wanting stops en route, slowing services down, or “feeds” onto
       route. Political pressure for stops will be intense
      The southern end of HS2 is likely to eventually become full (18 trains per hour is
       the theoretical ultimate limit). This might include 3 Birminghams, 3 Manchesters,
       1 Liverpool, 1 Lancs, 2 Scots, 2 Sheffields/Leeds (i.e. 11-12 total) from the outset
      Where to terminate in Manchester? (Piccadilly strong favourite, but might want
       through station to serve Scotland, or Manchester on a short spur accessed via a
       triangular junction as per Birmingham?)
      Focussing HS2 on Piccadilly won’t fit in readily with diverting local services away
       from Piccadilly to Victoria
      HS2 won’t include Liverpool route in initial HS network. Need to think how to
       serve Runcorn/Widnes and Liverpool in longer term, including whether via
       Liverpool South Parkway or Warrington
      Services to Chester/North Wales? - would need electrification at least to
       Chester if to use HS2 (very difficult to justify)
   Crewe? - probably only linked onto HS2 further south
   Only HS prospect for Wigan is linking-onto HS2 further south
   Stockport? Bolton?
   Preston? - might be on Manchester-Scotland HS route? Important hub.
    Probably essential to serve existing station
   HS2/HS1 link to Europe still unresolved
   Regional Eurostar market limited, and security/customs issues. Could we argue
    for two return Regional Eurostar services per day Manchester-Birmingham
    Interchange-Lille-Paris, with journey time four hours? Or is changing in London
    always going to be better?

Immediate priorities for NW:

   Need to justify Manchester extension, and by 2025 rather than 2030 if possible.
    (White Paper refers to “a particularly strong case” for Yorkshire and Leeds)
   Need to further develop constructive dialogue with HS2Co, including back-up
    socio-economic information
   Need to provide unified (as far as possible) political support for HS proposals,
    and avoid “back into the melting pot” syndrome and “paralysis by analysis”
   Need to keep HS2Co organisation, and not “start with blank sheet” again
   Keep informing debate with Euro/worldwide information
   Keep pressure on during recession

Some worldwide comparisons. In near Europe:

   France has 1,200 miles of dedicated HS route, with a further 1,800 miles planned
    or already under construction
   Spain has 1,000 miles built and 2,400 miles planned/under construction
   Germany has 800 miles built and 700 miles planned/under construction
   Italy has 500 miles built and 300 miles planned/under construction

Further afield:

   China has 700 miles built, no less than 5,600 miles under construction and 2,000
    miles planned (total 7,400 miles planned/under construction)
   Japan has 1,500 miles built and 700 miles planned/under construction




David Thrower for North West Business Leadership Team
23rd March 2010
01925 264156 (or 077 48 90 48 48)

				
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