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From Adonis concept to Boris boondoggle

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One of the most common misconceptions about HS2 is that it is somehow about capacity increases on local rail networks.

twitter, @DrSextonGreen [Solihull Green party], 'I also understand why we need rail infrastructure as a pre-requisite for the modal shift we are calling for. My understanding is that HS2 has less environmental impact than alternative proposals that achieve similar capacity increases on *local* rail networks.'

As informed Beleben blog readers will know, the available evidence suggests HS2 is not a means of facilitating increased classic rail capacity, or modal shift to rail.

Following Greengauge 21’s recent ‘true confessions‘ about the capacity case for the eastern leg of HS2, it might be worth looking at the western (Manchester) leg.

SDG’s July 2017 HS2 released capacity summary report for the Department for Transport (which cost over £100,000) included a representation of evening peak seat capacity in Manchester’s Stoke and Crewe ‘corridors’, with and without HS2.

SDG's July 2017 HS2 released capacity summary report for the Department for Transport, evening peak capacity in the 'Stoke and Crewe corridors', with and without HS2

The same diagram was included in the Department’s ‘High Speed Two From Concept to Reality’ report, but with extra information.

DfT,'High Speed Two From Concept to Reality', evening peak capacity in the 'Stoke and Crewe corridors', with and without HS2

In the SDG and From Concept to Reality reports, the opening of dedicated HS2 infrastructure in Manchester (phase 2b, column 4) has no effect on classic capacity, which is at that point lower than the 2026 No-HS2 Do-minimum (column 2).

'High Speed Two From Concept to Reality', classic evening peak capacity in the 'Stoke and Crewe corridors', with and without HS2

To maximise the utility of rail in Greater Manchester, the optimal course of action might be summarised as ‘Cancel HS2, cancel Northern Powerhouse Rail, cancel Piccadilly Platforms 15 and 16, develop S-Bahn’.

Written by beleben

August 9, 2020 at 9:19 pm

Posted in HS2

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