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Does Yin have a yen to save twenty minutes?

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What kind of journey benefits could arise, if the “£56 billion” HS2 project were built as planned? The Greengauge 21 (Jim Steer) ‘Beyond HS2‘ report (May 2018) gave two illustrations of future rail journeys.

Case 1, Oli

Oli is travelling from Gravesend to Middlesbrough. He begins his journey on HS1 in Rochester, and, once in London, he makes his way to the new Euston Station (via a travelator). Oli’s journey to the new Hub station in Darlington will take 1h52, a saving of 27 minutes from pre HS2 days.

But in the very same report, Greengauge argued that London to Newcastle and York intercity trains should “remain on the [East Coast Main Line] with a target of closely matching the journey times that would be achieved by HS2″. So if that happened, Oli wouldn’t need the “£56 billion” HS2 line from Euston to make his journey to Darlington, nor would he need the travelator from St Pancras to Euston (which is not even included in the HS2 budget).

Greengauge 21, 'Beyond HS2', illustrative future journey 1, Oli

Case 2, Hui Yin

Hui Yin, from China, is spending a few days in London before travelling to the University of Birmingham to deliver a lecture and attend a number of meetings – the main purpose of her visit. She will then continue her journey up to Glasgow, to visit some family. She arrives into the UK at Heathrow Terminal 5 and travels into Central London on the Elizabeth Line. She travels up to Birmingham Curzon Street from Euston a few days later and uses the tram to New Street to catch a local train to University station.

If Hui Yin has travelled (at least) 10 hours from China to London, is she really going to be bothered about saving about 20 minutes on a trip to the University of Birmingham? And it is ~20 minutes, not “33 minutes”. The tram between Curzon Street HS2 and New Street station would run five times an hour (according to Transport for West Midlands), and take about 5 minutes, giving an average transit time of ~11 minutes.

Greengauge 21, 'Beyond HS2', illustrative future journey 2, Hui Lin

According to Jim, Hui Yin would travel into “Central London”, presumably because he has decided that most HS2 trains should not stop at Old Oak Common.


These ‘illustrations’ are further evidence that the best course of action available to government is to cancel the HS2 project immediately.

Written by beleben

August 12, 2018 at 2:06 pm

Posted in HS2

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