Britain cannot meet its future transport needs without HS2, according to new evidence published today.
Even with more than £50 billion of planned transport investment over the next six years, the country’s railways will be overwhelmed, according to officials.
The document published by the Department for Transport sets out in detail the need for a new railway line to provide extra capacity.
Central to the case is new data that claims to reveal the true extent of the crisis facing the UK rail network and the impact alternatives to building HS2 would have.
It also states the estimated economic benefit of the £50 billion HS2 high-speed rail project has fallen. For every £1 spent, the wider economic benefit of the entire scheme will produce a benefit of £2.30 for the whole country compared with £2.50 estimated last year.
The document outlines how demand for rail travel will continue to grow.
By 2026 on commuter services into London during the peak evening times, 40 per cent of passengers will be standing, it is claimed.
It comes after Network Rail said yesterday that train passengers will suffer 14 years of ‘hellish’ rail delays if HS2 is scrapped for a cheaper alternative. Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said today: “We need a radical solution and HS2 is it.
“A patch-and-mend job will not do – the only option is a new north-south railway.”
Other benefits of the railway included in the document are estimates from Network Rail that more than 100 cities and towns could benefit from new or improved services as a result of capacity released on the existing rail network.
The Government expects regeneration around existing stations delivering jobs and growth similar to the experience of HS1 – the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Mr McLoughlin added: “Now is the time to be bold.”