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Why invest in rail?

Why invest in rail?

Why invest in rail?

It’s about more than getting from A to B, quickly and safely. Investment in rail must be based around clear criteria that will benefit the region as whole. Our key objectives are:

  • Promote sustainable economic growth across Yorkshire.
  • Reduce global warming by transferring people and goods from road to rail.
  • Improve community cohesion by better access to jobs, education and services.

Is High-Speed Rail the answer?

We’d say it’s only part of the answer and we need investment that brings results in the next five years as well as the longer term. The original proposals for HS2, from London to Leeds and Manchester, were badly thought through.

The idea of a new high-speed terminus at Leeds, at right-angles to the main station with a long walk from one to the other, was particularly ill-considered. We recognise that capacity on existing north-south routes is a problem and the case for a new route is strong. But it must be far better linked in to the existing rail network.

The pre-election proposal for a ‘HS3’ linking Merseyside with Manchester, Leeds and the east coast makes sense – with the same caveats. We would say that HS3 is much more important than the London-centric HS2 proposal which offers greater economic and environmental benefits to the North of England. We would like to see a new route running east to west, using the former Woodhead Tunnel under the Pennines – offering speed and capacity and forming part of a high-speed route via Sheffield to the south.

Put simply – high-speed trains from Manchester to Leeds would use the re-opened tunnel and then head north to Leeds, with another route branching southwards via Sheffield to Birmingham and London. This ‘triangular’ junction would allow high-speed trains from the south via Sheffield to reach Leeds and continue northwards to Tees-side, Newcastle and Scotland.