HS2 will shorten commuter trips from London to cities like Birmingham and Manchester
HS2: can the UK fast-track a better rail system?
27th January, 2012
Are the UK's new high speed rail plans part of a sustainable future for public transport in the UK or a big statement that only benefits a minority?
When Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening announced approval of plans for a high speed rail network, known as High Speed 2, public opinion was immediately split. HS2, scheduled to be completed by 2033, will cut across the countryside at speeds of up to 400kph, shortening trips from London to the north.
Some criticised its proposed budget of £32.7bn, costing taxpayers roughly £1,000 per family. Others were thrilled by the prospect of saving about an hour on their commutes. The one thing everyone can seem to agree upon is that the public transport system needs to change. Whether it’s high ticket prices, increased carbon emissions, slow travel times, or crowded cars, a solution is needed.
It’s nearly impossible to predict the economic and environmental impacts HS2 will have on the countryside and destination cities of Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh. The Department for Transport recognises that intercity rail lines are congested and in need of relief. But critics say HS2 should be part of a long-term plan, not a short-term solution to a problem that needs immediate attention.
‘One of the concerns we have is it’s almost like the...
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