die belebende Bedenkung

Obfuscation of HS2 demand forecasts is not in the public interest

with 5 comments

In 2010 there were around 60,000 Virgin Trains West Coast ‘long distance’ passenger journeys each day on the section of the line south of Rugby, according to the April 2012 HS2 Demand and Appraisal report. There were only around 5,000 VTWC journeys to and from Liverpool, and 10,000 from Manchester.

HS2 London West Midlands MVA demand and appraisal report, April 2012, figure 3.3, extract

Assuming 18 VTWC trains each day into Liverpool and 47 into Manchester, would suggest an average year-2010 trainload of around 139 (Liverpool) and 107 (Manchester)

But HS2

  • is “expected to carry over 300,000 people every day” – with ~250,000 of those journeys involving the trunk between Birmingham interchange (Bickenhill) and London
  • ‘would – in the year 2036 – attract
    • two thirds of passengers who would otherwise travel on the West Coast Main Line,
    • one third of those who would otherwise travel on the Midland Main Line, and
    • half of those who would otherwise use the East Coast Main Line.’

How these forecasts were arrived at, has never been explained, and the figures look dubious. It cannot be in the public interest for HS2 Ltd to refuse to provide details about current and forecast travel demand.

Written by beleben

April 6, 2017 at 11:11 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

5 Responses

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  1. That’s 109,500,000 of which 49,275,000 are claimed to be tourists. This is HS2 Ltd’s 7th upgrade of Passenger Forecasting, which has not impressed Andrew Tyrie, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee.. The mind doth boggle !!

    Ewen Simpson

    April 7, 2017 at 10:52 am

  2. And Mr Grayling has still not replied to Mr Tyrie’s letter which leads me to assume that he cannot provide the evidence for his claim.
    This whole project is built on sand [literally in places] but noone’s got the guts to stop it


    April 8, 2017 at 10:33 am

  3. Even the Institution of Civil Engineers described HS2 as “this seemingly sinking ship” when they reported in their journal in Nov 16, how many senior HS2 personnel were leaving. They even speculated that David Higgins would go – and he’s gone! HS2 was ill conceived but it will be worth building a high speed railway if we follow the principles that were absent from HS2.


    April 11, 2017 at 11:21 pm

  4. Compare and contrast with Network Rail’s Long Distance Market Study from October 2013. Table 7.12 Long term Conditional Output for capacity – plan to accommodate the following number of daily passenger journeys* by 2043. Quite why Network Rail decided to produce this is unclear. I make the total of ALL journeys between the city pairs that could be sort of served by HS2 to be about 250,000.


    May 5, 2017 at 2:35 pm

  5. Update & follow-up to last post. The LDMS link is
    There are 13 cities listed but Bristol, Cardiff and Leicester are not served at all by HS2, Of the 90 pairs (10 times 9) that remain only 45 have an HS2 option. If ALL the passengers between these 45 pairs chose to switch to HS2 it would only add up to 200,000 per day. A footnote states that “Manchester” includes far more that Piccadilly. Derby does not feature, presumably because the demand is less than Nottingham. It seems unlikely that the demand from Derby and Nottingham combined would compensate for the inconvenience of using Toton. Some flows such as Birmingham-Leeds (800) and Birmingham-Glasgow (400) suggest that many trains would be underutilised even if everyone did transfer to HS2.


    May 5, 2017 at 9:00 pm

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