National and Regional Benefits of High Speed 2

National and Regional Benefits of High Speed 2


Edward O'Loughlin, WSP Group, James Nutter, Metro


An evaluation of the means by which the benefits of HS2 can be maximised, focusing on Leeds and Sheffield, and relating the proposals to recent continental European examples.


This paper will provide an overview of the current status of High Speed 2, the UK’s proposed high-speed line between London, the Midlands and the north of England. It will examine the ways in which the original proposals have been subject to consultation, and in some areas, modification. It will also highlight the role that the regions are expected to play to ensure that High Speed 2 delivers the economic benefits which are such an important reason in its raison d’être.
The work will be based on analysis conducted for the passenger transport executives of South and West Yorkshire in 2013, recommending ways in which the economic benefits could be best delivered to support the city regions – rather than simply the cities directly concerned. This analysis surrounds the measures that local and regional authorities might consider taking with regard to station access, the means by which public transport serves the stations, measures to enhance the land value to promote commercial development, as well as the more traditional areas of train service planning, frequency, capacity and journey time. An important additional part of the analysis, however, is the maximisation of the potential offered by the release of capacity on the existing conventional network, to serve the regional and local market more effectively. The paper will report on the work completed, but will also provide a more up-to-date view where areas of thinking have developed since the completion of the study.
Whilst based on the work of Leeds and Sheffield, the paper will also explore ways in which other countries have sought to reconcile some of the prime issues which include:
■ City or out-of-town stations
■ Level of interaction between the services on the high-speed and conventional network
■ Satisfying long-distance and short-distance passengers
The paper will draw on the experience of the authors in the planning of the high-speed rail networks of France and Germany, exploring the rationale why the choices made by High Speed 2 are the same or different from the earlier high-speed networks.
The paper will conclude with an outline of the estimated programme for obtaining powers for the construction of HS2, and the challenges that will be faced, above all to ensure that the cost envelope is not exceeded, this in the context of a changing national and regional political landscape.


Association for European Transport