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01/11/2013

HS2 will bring north “into the orbit of London”

HS2 train concept art

High Speed 2 (HS2) has the potential to change the geography of the UK and create a new mega-city region, according to an independent transport policy think-tank.

The report by the Independent Transport Commission (ITC) supports the proposed national high-speed rail link that could “bring the Midlands, Manchester and Yorkshire into the orbit of London”. 
 
HS2 is due to be delivered in two phases, with the initial London to Birmingham phase of the line scheduled for completion in 2026. It has been immensely controversial as a succession of reports question its cost, value and viability.
 
 The Spatial effects of High Speed Rail: Capturing the Opportunity report, however, said that HS2 merely needs “reframing” to highlight the “better convenience, employment and connectivity”, on offer. 
 
The government also needs to demonstrate how to bring local and regional services to the line and provide “seed-funding” to help these city-regions, ITC said.  
 
“We must stop prevaricating over the rights and wrongs of each individual project and develop an integrated transport and infrastructure plan,” said Douglas Oakervee, the outgoing chairman of HS2, at the Institution of Civil Engineers. 
 

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