Plans for one of the country’s most crucial transport projects to date, High Speed 2, were officially endorsed by the Department for Transport today.
Transport minister, Andrew Adonis has asked HS2 to advise the DfT on extending high speed services into Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland
Andrew Adonis set out what the Government expects of High Speed Two (HS2), the company created to develop the case for high speed services between London and Scotland, and charged initially with bringing forward proposals for a new railway line from London to the West Midlands.
The company will report by the end of the year with a proposed route from London to the West Midlands, including outline options for stations for London and the West Midlands. It will provide environmental and economic assessments that will allow public consultation on a preferred route and options to be carried out in 2010.
Andrew Adonis said:
“Britain used to have a rail network that was once the envy of the world and I envisage that HS2 will help re-establish Britain as a world leader in rail travel.
“A high speed line will provide faster journey times to the West Midlands and beyond, linking our major economic centres and communities, and will free up capacity on the existing rail network for additional regional and local services”
“If the regions share my view of the benefits high speed rail will bring then they need to help HS2 understand the business case for bringing high speed services to their communities.”
Nick Brown, the regional minister for the North East, said:
“This is a timely and well judged study. Improving our Transport links is a key issue for the North East and this effort to develop proposals for high speed rail will be widely welcomed. Although the study is initially focused on the London to west Midlands route, it will also advise on the potential for including high speed services to the North East.”