The Taxpayers Alliance published a report today showing that HS2 will lead to fewer seats – even for passengers using HS2.
They’ve carefully analysed the details of the HS2 reports, looking at such things as service frequency that HS2 suggest, and the length of HS2 trains beyond Birmingham.
The Government has committed to upping the numbers of carriages on WCML trains from 2012, increasing the number of seats to 589 on routes like Manchester to London.
However, the HS2 documentation shows that for trains beyond Birmingham, there will only be 550 seats on each HS2 train: that’s fewer seats then the classic services they will replace. However HS2 are also predicting that three times as many people will be using the Manchester to Euston service.
It gets worse – the Department for Transport argue that to have more then three trains per hour between Euston and Manchester, £1.6 billion would need to be spent on improvements to the network north of Lichfield, currently the end of the proposed HS2 line. This money is not included in the HS2 budgets: it’s an extra amount of money needed for improvements. But unless this money being spent, even after HS2 is built, the DfT say there will still only be three trains an hour to Manchester.
So, in the HS2 world, at the end of the £17 billion spend on phase 1 of HS2, you have the same number of trains to Manchester as in 2012, but with fewer seats!
How does this help the people in Manchester?
The report can be downloaded here.