Parties set out positions on HS2

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have both pledged to build HS2 if they win next month’s General Election. The Conservatives this weekend said that they will study the findings of the Oakervee review before making a final decision on the project.

Labour’s manifesto says a Labour Government would build a high-speed railway all the way to Scotland.

The Conservative’s manifesto states: “HS2 is a great ambition, but will now cost at least £81bn and will not reach Leeds or Manchester until as late as 2040. We will consider the findings of the Oakervee review into costs and timings and work with leaders of the Midlands and the North to decide the optimal outcome.”

Media reports say Oakervee’s review will recommend going ahead with the project, albeit with some alterations.

Tories and Labour commit to improve rail in the North

The Conservatives and Labour have both pledged to improve east-west rail connections in the north of England.

The Tories commit to build a new line between Leeds and Manchester as a first phase of Northern Powerhouse Rail. Labour pledges to build a “Crossrail for the North”.

NIC champions new urban transport assessment method

The National Infrastructure Commission is promoting a new urban transport assessment method, which, it says, could be used to allocate funding between cities, as well as to evaluate specific projects.

The method, developed for the Commission by consultant Steer, focuses on trying to predict the impact that increasing urban transport capacity will have on economic indicators such as employment and amenities.

The Commission is keen to engage with the DfT, sub-national transport bodies and others on the method’s development and its practical application.

Citizens’ assembly considers Cambridge traffic restraint

A citizens’ assembly has selected road closures as the preferred method of traffic restraint in Cambridge.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership organised the assembly over two weekends, in what is described as the first of its kind in the UK to discuss transport matters.

Members also expressed a preference for some form of road user charging over a workplace parking levy, and backed bus franchising.

Councillors will consider the recommendations in the New Year.

Solent councils bid to trial drone deliveries with NHS

The Solent area on England’s South Coast could become the first place in the country to trial drone deliveries, in a project involving the NHS.

Drones could be used to transport packages between hospitals in Portsmouth and Southampton and the Isle of Wight, as well as from GP surgeries to hospitals.

The idea features in the Future Mobility Zones bid to the DfT made by Solent Transport, a partnership of four local transport authorities: Southampton, Portsmouth, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Oxfordshire rejects Oxford to Cambridge Expressway road

Oxfordshire County Council has passed a motion opposing construction of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway road, irrespective of which alignment is chosen in the county.

Oxfordshire says the proposed East-West Rail line between the cities will “ensure the delivery of the growth and housing required”.

About the Author

This post was written by Andrew Forster. Andrew Forster edits the fortnightly magazine Local Transport Today, covering transport policy and practice from across the UK. To subscribe to Local Transport Today, click here.

Andrew Forster

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