Ahead of today’s Autumn Budget statement, the Government published the National Infrastructure Plan, 2013.
Here is some of what it says:
1.20 Transport will play an important part in meeting the government’s environmental targets. As part of this there is a need to shift to more environmentally sustainable technologies and fuels, and to promote lower carbon transport choices. Over the next decade, the biggest reduction in emissions from domestic transport is likely to come from efficiency improvements in conventional vehicles, specifically cars and vans, driven primarily by EU targets for new vehicle CO2 performance. Over this period an increasing numbers of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) are also expected to come to market. Government is committed to speeding the transition to ULEVs by addressing areas where the market alone might not deliver the best outcomes in the shortest possible timescale.
1.22 [Rail] Passenger demand is largely driven by commuter needs, both in terms of demographic shifts and congestion on other modes of transport. Commuting is increasing as more and more jobs are located in regional centres, and other forms of transport, such as roads, are seen as less attractive. Freight demand is growing due to a shift from the use of roads to rail for transportation.
p40 Key policy milestones
3.37 Table 3.B sets out the key upcoming policy milestones for rail infrastructure.
Table 3.B: Key upcoming policy milestones for rail infrastructure
|Future policy milestone||Lead department or body||Date|
|Close of consultation on the Proposed route for HS2 Phase Two||Department for Transport||January 2014|
|Publication of Network Rail response to Office of Rail Regulation’s determination on Rail Control Period 5||Network Rail||March 2014|
|Start of Rail Control Period 5||Office of Rail Regulation||April 2014|
|Second Reading of High Speed 2 Hybrid Bill||Parliament||Spring 2014|
|Publication of the final report of the High Speed 2 Growth Taskforce||High Speed 2 Growth Taskforce||Spring 2014|
|Publication of government response to High Speed 2 Phase 2 route consultation||Department for Transport||December 2014|
|High Speed 2 Hybrid Bill to receive Royal Assent||Parliament||Expected Spring 2015|
p92 High Speed 2 (HS2)
7.11 The government introduced a hybrid Bill in November 2013 to seek Parliament’s agreement to Phase 1 of the programme. This major milestone demonstrates the government’s commitment to the programme.
7.12 Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd are now working to ensure they have the right resourcing, governance and delivery structures in place as they move towards the construction phase of the programme, building on support from Infrastructure UK and the best practice of projects such as Crossrail and the Olympics.
7.13 This includes appointing Sir David Higgins as the new Chair for HS2 Ltd, from 1 January 2014, who will be able to draw on his extensive experience of delivering major infrastructure projects and leadership in the rail sector, including his past positions as Chief Executive of Network Rail and of the Olympics Delivery Authority. HS2 Ltd is also recruiting a new Chief Executive – Construction, with a proven track record of delivering large scale construction programmes, who will be responsible for managing Phases One and Two of the project, through design and construction, and into operation.
…HS2 Efficiency Challenge Programme – the key Cost Review principles are being applied to High Speed Two; in autumn 2012, an Efficiency Challenge Programme was established to drive savings in the programme; as part of this work the Cost Review supported a detailed benchmarking comparison with the French Tour-Bordeaux high speed rail project currently under construction; through this work opportunities for cost reduction on Phase 1 of over £1 billion have been identified
p114 from Appendix A
- The consultation on the proposed route of Phase Two closes at the end of January 2014
- The final report of the HS2 Growth Taskforce will be published in spring 2014
- A decision on the Phase Two route will be made by the Secretary of State for Transport by December 2014