beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

Northern powerhouse rail and commutability

with 3 comments

In June 2019, Boris Johnson ‘pledged‘ he would be the PM who builds ‘Northern Powerhouse Rail’.

But is the ‘Northern Powerhouse Rail’ concept a good fit with travel patterns in the north of England, and the levels of transport demand seen there?

Some Northern England inter-city modal share comparisons, 2011 census, Alasdair Rae

The available information suggests that the spatial distribution of people — and the diffuse travel patterns — limit the role that rail could play in northern commuting. Spending £39 billion on ‘Northern powerhouse rail’ would be very unlikely to change that.

The best opportunities for rail would come from creating S-Bahn systems in Manchester and Leeds, but this would require the existing, NPR-focused, policy to be torn up.

NPR is supposed to enable people to ‘commute from one city to another’, but most people do not live in city centres.

Consider a more realistic inter-city commute, from Crosby (Merseyside) to Salford Quays (Greater Manchester) using existing rail, and new-build ‘HS3 Northern powerhouse rail’.

1. Crosby (Merseyside) to Salford Quays (Greater Manchester) using existing rail

Outbound commuting activity steps
1. Walk / bus to Crosby station.
2. Wait.
3. Train (Merseyrail) to Central station.
4. Walk to Lime Street station.
5. Wait.
6. Train to Eccles station.
7. Wait.
8. Tram to Salford Quays.
9. Walk to end destination.

Crosby to Salford Quays commute with the existing railway (base map: OpenStreetMap)

2. Crosby (Merseyside) to Salford Quays (Greater Manchester) using ‘Northern powerhouse rail’

(For the purposes of this comparison, it is assumed the Liverpool NPR station is at Lime Street, and the Manchester NPR station is at Piccadilly.)

Outbound commuting activity steps
1. Walk / bus to Crosby station.
2. Wait.
3. Train (Merseyrail) to Central station.
4. Walk to Lime Street station.
5. Wait.
6. Train (Npr) to Piccadilly station.
7. Wait.
8. Tram to Salford Quays.
9. Walk to end destination.

Crosby to Salford Quays commute with conceptual 'Northern powerhouse rail' (base map: OpenStreetMap)

It should be apparent that for journeys like this, Northern powerhouse rail would make very little difference to commutability.

Written by beleben

August 22, 2019 at 3:37 pm

3 Responses

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  1. The ‘Vision’ is to create a mega city ( Manchester /Leeds/Sheffield triangle) of 15 million people to rival London & open-up the north The HS2 was originally going fm London To Manchester with HS3 fm Liverpool to Hull. Also there will be three connections to Ireland at Belfast (to Scotland), Dublin (to the mainland) & Cork (to the EU). All this is a U.N. & WTO initiative. Look into the Intl Trading Centers in Liverpool & see what China will be allowed to bring in by container drone ships. They now have long leases on the container ports of Felixstone, Rotterdam, Genoa & Pireas (Athens) – that I know of, & the Chinese have tried to secure ones in Canada & Iceland (but failed). The Tories have been selling off the UK in ‘the free market’ & borrowed more money than all the Labour Governments to date !

    U. Monad

    August 22, 2019 at 3:57 pm

  2. Interesting balance? 1 train/hr from Lime Street to Eccles – miss this & 1 hour wait

    Stay on train to South Parkway 2 fast trains/hr to Piccadilly/Oxford Road 2 slow trains to Trafford Park/Deansgate. Makes a strong case for interchange station at Cornbrook (or Pomona).

    A very different picture if cycling factored in Oxford Road – Media City = 15 minutes via Talbot Road

    Very surprised at Sheffield-Leeds detail – substantial demand for this route as M1 so congested.

    d9015

    August 23, 2019 at 5:09 am

  3. Reblogged this on Regeneration X Blog and commented:
    Well worth reading this post from Beleben. The Governemnt’s talk of HS3 for the north of Emgland doesn’t make sense. Are we, once again, going to let the lobbyists, with a vested interest, decide policy rather than use the evidence of what is really required?

    stevenboxall

    August 23, 2019 at 10:14 am


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