HS2 and the competitive range
In 2007, Richard Davies, Director of Strategic Policy for the Association of Train Operating Companies noted, ‘in a personal capacity’, that most intercity trips in Britain fell short of the optimal 400 – 800 kilometre ‘ideal range’ for high speed rail.
In 2013, Lyon University’s Yves Crozet described the competitive range as 400 km to 1000 km. In his view, France’s high speed network was not based on facilitating “everyday mobility”.
[High Speed Rail Performance
in France: From Appraisal Methodologies to Ex-post Evaluation, Yves Crozet, Laboratoire d’Economie des Transports, Université de Lyon, France, 2013]
[…] The TGV is not there for the purpose of proliferating dormitory towns 100 or 150 km from Paris, Lyon, Marseille or Bordeaux. Demand linked to everyday mobility must be satisfied by everyday trains whose main feature is frequency. Rather than pursuing an obsession with speed, choices should be guided by considerations as to the type of service that users require. Where two cities are 100 or 150 km apart, the appropriate reaction is not to announce that high-speed rail will enable the journey to be completed in 30 or 40 minutes.