Conclusions by Jim
On 23 May 2015 the Independent reported that ‘the £50bn High Speed Two rail link will not be extended to Scotland, as the team behind the project has found there is “no business case” for the undertaking’.
And HS2 Ltd’s March 2016 ‘Broad options‘ report must make for very grim reading for the Scottish government.
But according to Jim Steer’s Greengauge 21
- the value for money of Manchester — Scotland high speed rail is more than double that of Manchester — London high speed rail, and
- Network Rail concluded that a new high speed line to Scotland would “more than pay for itself”.
However, Network Rail’s “investigation” of high speed rail was undertaken by Steer Davies Gleave, not Network Rail.
So Network Rail’s “conclusions” were, in essence, those of Steer Davies Gleave.
Another conclusion of the SDG report for Network Rail was that the case for a HS2 rail link between London, Birmingham and Manchester was “marginal“, but a ‘standalone’ scheme not requiring more than eight trains per hour might cost less, and so fare better in economic terms. (HS2 Ltd are planning to run 18 trains per hour.)
The cost-effective and affordable way to cater for demand between London, Birmingham, and Manchester would be to upgrade the existing asset base — freeing up billions of pounds for education, healthcare, and clean intracity transport.