Report Encourages North – South Rail Link

Report Encourages North – South Rail Link

13 Dec 2005

Engineers are urging the government to build a high speed north-south rail link, which would see journeys from London to Scotland take just three hours.

A new report by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), called ‘The Missing Link,’ says a dedicated rail route will boost the national economy and be more environmentally friendly than motorway or airport runway expansion.

The line would also connect regional cities to the economically prosperous south east, and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, due to open in 2007. Eurostar bosses have already backed the report.

According to the ICE report the new link, which would be six times the length of the CTRL, could be built over a ten year period at a cost of £3bn a year. This they say would be less than 0.5% of government spending in 2005.

The costs, which are based on current CTRL spending, would be met by the private as well as public sector.

Graeme Monteith of the ICE said: “High speed rail should lead to a shift back to the railways, countering the recent massive growth in domestic air travel. This would have a positive impact on the environment and play a significant role in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions from transport.”

Richard Brown, chief executive of Eurostar, added: “A north – south high speed rail line would transform the UK, cutting journey times and encouraging leisure and business travel, acting as a catalyst for growth and development.”

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