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Views needed for ICE’s high speed response

The ICE is calling on civil engineers to share their views and expertise on the high speed rail plans launched last week, to form a consultation response that represents the industry.

The government’s consultation, which will run over five months, invites stakeholders to have their say on a range of factors relating to the proposed £32bn rail network which is expected to increase rail capacity to meet rising demand for long-distance rail travel, ease overcrowding on existing railways and slash journey times between major cities.

Sharing views

Responding to the consultation, ICE President Peter Hansford called for civil engineers right across the country to share their views with ICE over the coming months.

“We encourage members to share their thoughts and views with us, so the ICE can form a consultation response that really captures the expertise across the membership and provides an informative resource to the government when making decisions on this important project,” he said.

To input into the ICE’s consultation response, email your answers to the below questions and any supporting material to policy@ice.org.uk by 27 May.

  • Do you agree that there is a strong case for enhancing the capacity and performance of Britain’s inter-city rail network to support economic growth over the coming decades?
  • Do you agree that a national high speed rail network from London to Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester (the Y network) would provide the best value for money solution (best balance of costs and benefits) for enhancing rail capacity and performance?
  • Do you agree with the government’s proposals for the phased roll-out of a national high speed rail network, and links to Heathrow Airport and the High Speed 1 line to the Channel Tunnel?
  • Do you agree with the principles and specification used by HS2 Ltd to underpin its proposals for new high speed rail lines and the route selection process HS2 Ltd undertook?
  • Do you agree that the government’s proposed route, including the approach proposed for mitigating its impacts, is the best option for a new high speed rail line between London and the West Midlands?

The ICE will also be holding consultation events and workshops across some regions during the spring.
For further information visit www.ice.org.uk/hs2 .

 

 

 

 

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • High Speed 2 Consultation

    Although I am on favour of High Speed Rail, having worked for several years on High Speed One, I believe the government plan has a number of weaknesses, as listed below:

    1. The fundamental need for high speed rail is for long distances such as London to Scotland or possibly London to Wales in order to reduce air travel within the UK.
    2. Existing main lines to Birmingham and the North are adequate following the long and drawn out upgrading, but expensive, even compared to low cost airlines, so that the expected reduction in local air travel has not occurred, nor has the expected reduction in road travel as taking a car is still cheaper than taking a train. The public are not likely to pay even more for a faster line over these distances.
    3. London to Birmingham is a sensible first step, but the provision of services north of Birmingham needs thinking out carefully so that dual running over high speed and existing tracks is possible.
    The promised dual running of Eurostars to Glasgow and Edinburgh, which was promised when High Speed One was being built, has never happened for reasons which have never been made clear to the public. For the public north of Birmingham to support this project they need better services from day one.
    4. London needs a single High Speed Terminal.
    Euston is too far from St Pancras to be convenient, unless very expensive long travellators or similar airport style devices are used. If there isn’t space at St Pancras for another high speed line could space be freed up somewhere between the two stations?
    5. The link to High Speed One is essential.
    People in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds will expect to be able to catch trains to Paris, Brussels and stations all over Europe direct, otherwise they will still fly.
    6. Since the aim of the line is to reduce air travel the link to Heathrow is optional, but it is understood that intercontinental travellers arriving in Heathrow will expect a fast and direct link to a high speed rail station which could possibly be an additional stop on the fringes of London.
    7. The routing through the Chilterns seems unnecessarily controversial, following the lessons of local opposition in Kent. Would it not be possible to route the new line alongside the existing west coast main line and use the existing M1 corridor. If necessary a viaduct could be used above the existing line to avoid land acquisition as is done in Japan.

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