die belebende Bedenkung

By-products of HS2

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Doctorin' Centro House

Since privatisation, funding and output delivery (ugh) on Britain’s national rail network is organised for so-called five-year Control Periods. In September 2011, Network Rail published its Initial Industry Plan (IIP) for England and Wales, setting out “how the industry could build on recent improvements in cost efficiency and cut the cost of running the railway by £1.3 bn per annum by 2019″.

Under the IIP for Control Period 5, the years 2014 to 2019, the Midlands would receive investment of only £57 million out of a national budget of around £10 billion. According to, Centro bosses are to meet with transport secretary Justine Greening in an attempt to get better funding for rail projects in the West Midlands.

Chief executive Geoff Inskip told members of the Integrated Transport Authority considering its response to the IIP that he had written to MPs about the “paucity” of the plans.
The IIP has been drawn up by the Office of Rail Regulation, Network Rail, the Association of Train Operating Companies, the Rail Freight Operators Association, and the Rail Industry Association and represents the industry’s view of funding priorities.

Although not binding on the Government, it is influential when ministers decide funding.
The eight local rail schemes Centro wants to see completed or work begin on in CP5 are:

* Re-opening of the line between Walsall and Stourbridge
* The Camp Hill Chords scheme introducing services from Moor Street in Birmingham to Kings Norton and Water Orton
* Electrification of the Walsall to Rugeley line
* Reinstatement of a fourth platform at Snow Hill station and the Rowley Regis Turnback
* Increasing the speed on lines between Walsall and Rugeley, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury, Coventry and Nuneaton
* Resignalling and remodelling the track in the Worcester area
* Improving capacity between Birmingham and Coventry
* Station enhancements at Walsall, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Solihull and Birmingham International.

The only regional schemes in the Midlands the IIP proposals say should go ahead are capacity enhancements at Water Orton and between Leamington and Coventry.

Centro recently commissioned a study from KPMG which looks set to demonstrate that such a programme of regional rail enhancements would increase economic productivity in the West Midlands by more than £400 million.

When he was transport secretary, Philip Hammond said, “I don’t operate in a world where people only support a piece of national infrastructure if there’s something in it for them.” Despite this warning, some West Midlands politicians have continued to lobby for HS2 in the belief that local transport improvements can be funded on the back of it. HS2 means lower funding for metropolitan transport, and the legacy rail system. Already, the ‘North West triangle’ electrification has been delayed, and South Wales Great Western modernisation scaled back.

Written by beleben

November 17, 2011 at 10:24 pm

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  1. […] “Re-opening of the (South Staffordshire railway) line between Walsall and Stourbridge” is one of Centro‘s aspirations for the period 2014 to 2019. Passenger services stopped running in the 1960s, and nearly all of the South Staffordshire Line was closed altogether in the 1980s and 1990s. The term ‘South Staffordshire Line’ (SSL) is now used to designate the railway route from Wychnor Junction to Stourbridge via Lichfield, Walsall, Wednesbury, Dudley, and Brierley Hill. […]

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