RIA concern at government’s failure to commit to Crossrail 2

A potential HS2 train design. Photo: HS2.
A potential HS2 train design. Photo: HS2.

The Railway Industry Association has spoken of its concern over the government’s failure to commit to Crossrail 2 in the Queen’s Speech.

Chief executive Darren Caplan also said that he was disappointed at the lack of a commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail (HS3) but welcomed the inclusion of powers to progress HS2 Phase Two – between Birmingham and Crewe – at the State Opening of Parliament.

Responding to the speech, Darren Caplan said: “The Railway Industry Association welcomes the government’s commitment to transport infrastructure, which is crucial to the UK’s economy and connectivity.

“We support today’s announcement bringing forward further legislation on HS2, which will deliver clear improvements and increase overall capacity for passengers and freight and which will see new rolling stock introduced and stations upgraded.

“However, we are concerned about the lack of commitment to Crossrail 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (or HS3) in the Queen’s Speech.

“Rail infrastructure needs to be improved throughout the whole of the UK and major schemes like these provide wider benefits not just to those parts of the country they serve but also to the national economy; and they are essential to helping Britain become Brexit-ready in the years to come.

“We urge the Government to give a green light to both Crossrail 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail as infrastructure projects crucial to the future success of UK plc, and to do this quickly.”

In response, TfL’s managing director for Crossrail 2, Michèle Dix, issued the following statement: “It is right that the Government push ahead with the next phase of HS2 as planned.

“We remain committed to work with Government on Crossrail 2, developing our plans in readiness for a public consultation and preparing to submit a hybrid bill.

“Crossrail 2 is vital to the future prosperity of the South East, and is essential to the later phases of HS2, as without Crossrail 2, Euston station will grind to a halt.”

Read more: HS2 – What happens next?