Friday, October 24, 2008

High Speed Rail proposals

Conservative shadow Transport minister Theresa Villiers has laid out plans to introduce the next phase of high speed rail to the UK, in what she described as a “momentous step forward for Britain’s transport infrastructure”.

A Conservative Government would build a new high speed rail line between Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and London, which would cut journey times between Birmingham and London to 40 minutes and between Leeds and London to less than an hour and a half.

Theresa, the Shadow Transport Secretary, said that high speed rail would have many benefits for the UK:

Helping businesses and generating huge economic benefits, potentially to the value of £60 billion

Healing long-standing divisions in our economy by shrinking the distance between north and south

Relieving over-crowding on existing lines

Helping to protect future generations from climate change

She announced that a Conservative Government would say no to a third runway at Heathrow, and concentrate instead on the advantages of our high speed rail plan:

“It will leave a lasting legacy for the future - and it will lay the foundations for a high speed network that I believe will one day stretch across the country.”

The current proposal will target construction of the first stage of the new high speed line to begin in 2015, with full completion by 2027.

All excellent stuff: my one concern is that I would like to see proposals to extend the high speed link to reach Cumbria brought forward.


Anonymous said...

Chris, could you remind us who cancelled the APT in the 1980's?
The APT provided a quicker service from Glasgow to London in the early 1980's than Virgin's Pendolino trains in the 2000's.

Who cancelled it again?

Chris Whiteside said...

I have never pretended that I thought everything the last Conservative government did was right.

Every government makes mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them and focus on what Britain needs now.

Anonymous said...

If Britain needs a high speed train service now, which I agree it does, it should have been started in the 1980's like the rest of our European neighbours.
The proposals are fine as far as the go, if a generation late, but do not kid yourself that they serve Britain, they only serve England.

Chris Whiteside said...

The phase one proposals would be good news for England south of a line from Liverpool to Leeds.

I support a phase two which brings in both the northernmost parts of England, including Cumbria, and Scotland.