A submission into the HS2 review has found that over 50 stations that are not part of the HS2 network will be able to offer more train services once HS2 is built.
Analysis by Sub-national transport body, Midlands Connect and sent to the Oakervee HS2 Review found that of the 73 locations that could benefit from HS2’s released capacity, 54 are stations not even served by HS2 trains.
That’s because of the great sucking sound caused by HS2 taking intercity trains off the regional railways and releasing tons more space on the railways for the regional services that carry commuters and families between the smaller cities.
As has been previously reported, although the headlines talk about the High Speed intercity element of HS2, the big impact is actually the average commuter heading into work each day.
By moving long-distance traffic from the current rail infrastructure onto the new high speed line, HS2 will create the extra room needed to improve local and inter-regional services.
That is due to the timetable impact of sharing fast and slow services on the same railway line — as there needs to be fewer slower trains to avoid the fast trains being delayed. Good for intercity services, but a pain for the regional travellers who don’t live in the big cities.
According to the report, HS2’s capacity-releasing effects on the conventional network mean that — for example — Coventry will be able to benefit from new direct connections to and from Derby, Sheffield, York and Newcastle; more frequent services to and from Shrewsbury, Telford, Leamington Spa and along the Coventry-Birmingham commuter corridor; as well as less crowded trains on existing stopping services to and from London.
If the economy is to reballance, then boosting regional travel options would be essential, and that’s what HS2 is really about. Get the intercity services off the existing tracks so that regional railways can be improved.
That is also why the suggested cost cutting plan for HS2 to cancel either the Euston or Old Oak Common stations in London would be so short sighted as it severely hampers either the capacity boosting at Euston to reduce commuter over crowding, or the ability to divert North-to-West travel by avoiding central London.
The report says that the projected benefits of HS2 released capacity have been calculated using the projections outlined in local rail strategies, existing rail models and the Midlands Connect technical programme.