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High speed rail must show it will really improve the transport system and the environment

20 December 2010
Reacting to the Government announcement on the high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham, Stephen Joseph, chief exec at Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“We support the case for more rail capacity, but the Government has to show that high speed rail is part of a wider package which includes improvements to local transport and a real transfer to rail from road and air. Any high speed line will need to include big improvements in transport in the cities and between them. It needs to serve city centres not just parkway stations, and we need to see better local passenger services and more rail freight on the existing lines. The Government will also need to explain why it is planning for very high speeds, which bring more noise and intrusion.”

He concluded, “To have credibility in proposing this project, the Government must show that it can manage everyday transport on existing infrastructure. For the many travellers affected by snow today, it has not managed this.”