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HS2 and West Yorkshire, part four

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HS2 Ltd, Leeds infosheet header

HS2 Ltd’s ‘Leeds‘ information sheet, focuses on benefits to the city (a different approach to the Meadowhall sheet, which was titled “South Yorkshire”, rather than “Sheffield”).

HS2 Ltd, Leeds infosheet, local route map

The infosheet’s route map shows towns like Dewsbury, Bradford, and Halifax, but not their HS2 through journey times. Leeds New Lane is planned as a dead end, perhaps with some kind of travelator link to the existing City station. How long travellers’ regional-to-HS2 interchange would take, is unexplained.

Travel from (for example) Bradford to Coventry, or Huddersfield to Redditch, would be a less than straightforward business, as further disconnectivity issues would come into play at Bickenhill or Curzon Street HS2 stations.

Journey times from Leeds New Lane HS2 were given as: London, 82 minutes (currently 132); Birmingham 57 minutes (currently 118); Nottingham 46 (currently 106); and Sheffield 27 (currently 41).

The relatively short distance between London and West Yorkshire means that scope for journey time reductions is limited. As on London-to-Edinburgh, a London-to-Leeds time fairly similar to that of HS2 could be achieved on the existing East Coast line, with 225 km/h tilting carriages.

If fast classic trains approached Leeds City from the east, they could run on to Bradford, Huddersfield, or Halifax. The result would be a faster point-to-point journey than HS2, for a larger number of people. The majority of West Yorkshire’s population does not live in Leeds.

Where HS2 does have an edge, is for trips between Leeds and Toton, but the monetised economic benefits of such journeys are not very large. Part of the reason why today’s trains between Leeds, Nottingham, and Sheffield are ‘slow’, is the need to serve intermediate points (Wakefield etc), to achieve a reasonable loading.

Written by beleben

February 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm

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