Labour figures have been reportedly secretly considering an alternative route to HS2 for a new north-south link. The route itself is no secret, re-opening the Great Central line, Britain’s last main line and scandalously closed by Beeching despite being the most profitable in the country and capable of taking modern container sizes.
It isn’t just cheaper – a fraction of the price – it’s great news for millions of people both in the Home Counties and in the north. Rather than doubling up on existing routes, re-opening the Great Central would be better for people who don’t start of finish in Birmingham, Manchester or London. Opening up a different route does more to help capacity because, rather than crowding everybody onto the same route even if that isn’t exactly where they want to go, it allows people to travel more directly, saving more time as well.
With the Windsor Link Railway already proposing to connect the southern region and Heathrow to High Wycombe via Windsor and Maidenhead, this would mean that many millions more people would be able to get to the north without the expense and wasted time of going via central London. Less environmentally damaging, faster and cheaper. That really is better.