Posted 26th September 2023 | 2 Comments

Cabinet divided over possible HS2 axe

Senior ministers are reported to be protesting at the prospect of HS2 north of Birmingham being axed by the Prime Minister. The announcement of the cost-cutting measure is said to be likely just days before the Conservative Party conference begins in Manchester on Sunday. The Independent alleges that transport secretary Mark Harper is ‘very unhappy’ about the plan, along with levelling up secretary Michael Gove. If so, they will be agreeing with former chancellor George Osborne and ex-Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine, who have already said cutting Phases 2a and 2b would be a ‘gross act of vandalism’ which would amount to ‘economic self-harm’.

Increase in leisure travel prompts longer Sunday trains

LNER is strengthening its Sunday services from December, in response to a 30 per cent increase in the number of passengers travelling at the weekend. Three more trains will run, two between Leeds and London and one to and from Doncaster. Eight existing Sunday trains serving Leeds, Harrogate or Lincoln will be formed of nine or 10-car Azuma sets instead of five.

Disruption warning on Great Eastern line

Weekend train services in Essex and central London will be disrupted from next month until early December, as work continues on the construction of Beaulieu Park station in Chelmsford. Replacement buses will run between Chelmsford and Witham, Shenfield or Shenfield on either Saturdays or Sundays between 8 October and 10 December. There will be a two-day engineering possession with no services running on 28 and 29 October between Shenfield and Witham. In addition, the Elizabeth Line will be closed on Sunday 8 October east of Paddington, on the Shenfield and Abbey Wood routes. More details from Greater Anglia.

Reader Comments:

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  • Neil Palmer, Waterloo

    An excellent idea from Harper. Though with the government in charge of this you know nothing sensible would ever be considered.

  • Harper (Kenneth John), Kelso

    Given that Euston will have capacity for 15 trains an hour and Old Oak common 6? this is a big mess. The solution is a link to HS1 and a high speed terminal at Heathrow. Heathrow should be able to dispatch 8 trains north and 2 to Kent. If the EU agreed build a Schengen entry point at terminal 5 allowing long haul passengers to the EU to clear. Then with facility we could add a couple of platforms for 2 hourly services from Heathrow to Europe by rail. The HS1 / 2 link could also handle 2 Kent to Curzon St , Manchester, plus an hourly Europe to Crewe, and an hourly Europe to Curzon St. Thus HS2 with 27 trains an hour has a chance of making money, whereas with 6 or 15 its a loser. HS1 can take 8 extra services an hour, but Euro Tunnel would lose 6 slots an hour but extra ferries can easily be built. The introduction of Heathrow should make the case for the Northern and Eastern links and maybe enable the third runway to be cut, it also really reduces carbon emissions. The airlink could also encourage some thinking about airline check ins at respective stations with baggage being put in a containerised baggage car ort two thus you could part with bags at Manchester Piccadilly at next see them at your final destination.