High-speed rail will lead to slower journeys and fewer trains throughout the West Midlands, a new report warned today.
The £50 billion HS2 would seriously impact services running through Wolverhampton and Sandwell and Dudley stations, the research shows.
The new line will take away existing fast trains such as the Virgin Pendolinos which provide direct connections to London Euston because long distance services will be transferred to the HS2 line through Birmingham.
But the Taxpayer’s Alliance is urging for a rethink and calling for the project to be scrapped because of the spiralling costs and the detrimental effect it believes there will be on West Midlands travel.
It says that Centro, the West Midlands passenger transport authority, is arguing for numerous additional services to maximise the benefits of HS2, including two Walsall to London Euston trains every hour and an additional Wolverhampton to Euston service every hour.
Chief executive of the TPA Matthew Sinclair said: “The Government’s own plans show how many towns and cities would be left with a worse service.”
A Department of Transport spokesman said the report was ‘blatant scaremongering’. Official documents show HS2 will provide 26 more services a day between Wolverhampton and London Euston, but slower than the existing Virgin Pendolinos.
There will also be 87 fewer services a day between Birmingham and Liverpool on the existing InterCity West Coast line.
However a survey by the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group says 71 per cent of its members believe high speed rail will have a postive impact on the West Midlands.
On Saturday, residents affected by HS2 in Staffordshire will march in protest against the plans.
For a full report, see today's Express & Star