Wednesday, 16 September 2009

HSR UK team in Cardiff welcomes Greengauge21 report into High Speed Rail

HSR UK, the campaign coalition made up of 11 UK cities to support the case for a high speed rail network in the UK, today welcomed the latest report from Greengauge21, Fast Forward: A High-Speed Rail Strategy for Britain.

The report makes a clear case to develop plans for a high speed rail network in this country and clearly sets out the benefits such a network would bring, what it would cost, and how it could be paid for.

Cardiff Council leader Rodney Berman said: “Today’s Greengauge21 Report is looking at a network to serve Britain’s 11 major cities for the first time, which is something Cardiff Council is fully backing.

“The report will address the economic and environmental challenges faced by such a network. It shows the need for a high speed network, as well as its costs, value for money, and how it might be implemented. Most importantly, it outlines how HSR could be integrated with city and regional plans.”

Greengauge21 is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to research and develop the concept of a high speed rail network, and to promote its implementation as a national economic priority.

Last week, Councillor Berman joined with leaders from the 10 cities - Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield, to launch HSR UK and called on members of the public and business leaders to show their support for the campaign by signing an online pledge at

He said: “A high speed rail link in the UK would mean shorter journey times, improved reliability, accessibility and greater capacity and all this, most importantly, would have a dramatic effect on the nation’s economic output. A high speed rail line between London and Cardiff could potentially reduce the journey time between the two capitals from around two hours to just 70 minutes.”

According to Greengauge21, the entire high speed network would be around 1500km long with capacity for 178million passengers each year – that’s 590,000 a day. It would also attract around 30m passengers a year from domestic air travel and 13 million from the car onto the rails.

But a High Speed Rail network would also bring a package of benefits worth around £125bn with it, which would equate to £1.4bn for Wales and the South West.

Councillor Berman added: “These are massive benefits for the economy and I call on the government to take account of these conclusions in their consideration of HS2’s report at the end of this year.”


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