High Speed Rail Group calls for linking of HS2 and Scotland

10 June 2020 (Last Updated June 10th, 2020 13:30)

UK-based High Speed Rail Group (HSRG) has urged officials to connect HS2 with Scotland, which will increase the connectivity, decrease carbon and rebalance the economy.

High Speed Rail Group calls for linking of HS2 and Scotland
Work underway on the site for the Birmingham terminus of the new HS2 railway line. Credit: Geof Sheppard via Flickr.

UK-based High Speed Rail Group (HSRG) has urged officials to connect HS2 with Scotland, which will increase the connectivity, decrease carbon and rebalance the economy.

The organisation published a report, titled High-Speed Rail and Scotland, which states that the connection of the route to Scotland will increase connectivity by reducing the travel time between London and Scotland.

This is said to be in line with the Scottish Government’s 2045 net-zero target.

With upgrades to existing lines and new sections of high-speed line, the linking of HS2 and Scotland will increase capacity and address the demand for freight and passenger travel.

Additionally, this is expected to decrease the journey time to three hours and 10 minutes.

The passenger traffic between Glasgow and London has increased by 120% since 2006 while the traffic on the Manchester-Scotland and Birmingham-Scotland routes increased by 191% and 261%, respectively.

The report also shows that the connection of HS2 with Scotland will contribute to the efforts to decarbonise travel and save 45,000t of CO2 annually.

This move will remove freight from the road and boost the passenger shift from aviation towards green rail.

The London-Scotland aviation route is said to be the busiest in Europe and the reduction of rail travel time will decrease the need for ‘carbon-heavy short-haul flights’.

the report author Jim Steer said: “As the UK begins to emerge from Covid-19, the focus on a green recovery is essential.

“Over the past two months, we have all seen the positive impact on air quality and the environment. While we now focus on our economic recovery, we cannot lose sight of the carbon-cutting goals we have set ourselves. As transport is now the largest contributor to the UK’s emissions, the sector has a duty to act quickly and decisively to reduce them.”

In April, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) gave the notice to proceed for the construction of HS2.