There appears to be a lack of clarity around the need for High Speed (HS) rail in the UK and HS2 in particular.  We would expect to see a 25 year rail network plan underpinned by passenger demand; air vs rail strategy; fare policies to support the environmental agenda in the UK; and the regional growth forecasts.

The strategic demand review should then drive the High Speed Rail engineering solution which can be phased over an appropriate time period, integrated with classic rail and supported by regional integrated business cases.

A shift in approach is required – this is not just about railway engineering but infrastructure led regeneration.  The need to trap the capital uplift resulting from the rail infrastructure investment will focus where the HS2 stations should be located and built.

There needs to be a far greater collaboration between all government departments (e.g. HM Treasury, DfT) together with the Mayoral Authorities, to deliver the returns and to ensure the various project costs are not managed in silos.

There is currently a lack of structure, governance and leadership at the development corporation level to trap and retain the infrastructure cost generated benefits.  This is crucial to defray the rail infrastructure costs and to be able to project the net cost or return to the public purse.