HS2 axe could constrain growth – NIC

The National Infrastructure Commission says the cancellation of High Speed 2 Phase 2a between Handsacre and Crewe, and 2b between Crewe and Manchester could limit growth in capacity and constrain growth in cities in northern England and the Midlands. Its findings were published on 16 May in its Infrastructure Progress Review 2024.

If growth projections by the Railway Industry Association are accurate, the NIC says that over the next 20 years, passenger numbers could be significantly higher than in pre-pandemic 2019, with Birmingham seeing up to 61% more arrivals in the morning peak, Manchester up to 38% and Leeds 48%: ‘without uplifts in capacity, this could lead to significantly worse crowding outcomes, says the report.’

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