We welcome the publication of the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan, in particular its recognition of the important role that modal shift in favour of low carbon transport, alongside important investments including rail electrification, will play in the journey to net zero.
The publication is a useful step in that journey, but in order to achieve this shift, a more ambitious long term plan for rail, including high speed rail, must be set out. HS2 should remain central to Government planning, recognising that in addition to its significant capacity benefits, its potential to transform travel patterns and reduce emissions across the network will be hugely significant.
Beyond HS2 though, there is a need for a longer term programme of achieving modal shift by bringing high speed rail to all nations and regions of Britain. In particular, we hope that the upcoming Union Connectivity Review can build on today’s publication with a clearer plan to make that happen.