beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

How much latent capacity

with 2 comments

Virgin Trains, the operator of intercity trains from London to major cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Preston and Glasgow, recorded 39.5 million journeys over the last year (2018/2019), compared to 14 million in 1997, when it took over the West Coast route. Based on the last six years of growth, passenger journeys would reach 55 million in 2026, ‘when HS2 is due to open’, if growth were unconstrained.

This announcement came as a new report by Campaign for Better Transport [CBT], Transformation of the West Coast Mainline, found that upgrades to the service, including the Virgin High Frequency timetable, had led to 7 million fewer car journeys a year between London and Manchester (etc).

'Virgin Trains on course for 50m passengers ahead of HS2 after breaking new records'

The increase from 14 million to a possible 50+ million annual ‘intercity’ passengers is an indicator of how much latent capacity there was — and is — on the West Coast tracks. HS2 is not mentioned in the main text of the CBT report, and available information suggests that it is not required to meet foreseeable future demand, even in the Department for Transport’s so-called Higher Growth scenario.

As an aside, there must be a question mark over the CBT claim that the enhanced West Coast service has led to ‘7 million fewer car journeys a year between London and Manchester’.

How was that number arrived at? Are there even 7 million rail journeys a year — in total — between those two cities?

Written by beleben

April 5, 2019 at 10:13 am

Posted in Politics, Railways

2 Responses

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  1. Yes, I wondered about the ‘7 million fewer car journeys… ‘ too. Maybe it’s like HS2 Ltd – just pluck a figure out of thin air!

    apolden

    April 5, 2019 at 11:55 pm

  2. There is need for much more rail capacity than there is now. There is a great deal of suppressed demand and this is for quite a number of factors – including the odd stopping patterns and uneven frequencies on the overloaded West Coast Main line.

    John

    April 7, 2019 at 6:21 pm


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