High-speed rail scheme could bring better London links

An artist’s impression of one of the high-speed trains

An artist’s impression of one of the high-speed trains

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Parliamentary Correspondent

Bradford could enjoy a direct rail link to London if high-speed rail goes ahead, experts said yesterday.

The much-criticised £42.6bn project has the potential to transform rail travel by freeing up space on existing lines, the Network Rail study found.

And among 100 towns and cities in line to benefit is Bradford – with a new fast service from Bradford Interchange to the capital.

The route would become possible because existing services between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh and Newcastle would no longer be needed.

Network Rail hailed the potential of HS2 to “fundamentally reshape our railway in a way that incremental improvements simply cannot deliver”.

And it said: “We have squeezed every last incremental improvement out of what we’ve got. As demand continues to grow, this becomes harder and in some places impossible.

“High Speed 2 will deliver much-needed extra capacity on the busiest rail lines and help boost economic growth, by transforming connectivity between our biggest cities.”

But the study was quickly dismissed by Shipley Tory MP Philip Davies – an arch-HS2 critic – who described it as a “bogus argument”.

Mr Davies is among 27 Tories who urged David Cameron to axe the project and spend the billions on congestion-busting local schemes instead.

He said: “Network Rail has been rumbled that HS2 is a spectacular waste of money and is thrashing around for other spurious reasons that have nothing to do with the project. It is a hell of a lot of money to spend just to add a bit of extra capacity to the rail network.

“There is already extra capacity to allow more services to Bradford under the existing network and operators who want to do just that.”

Network Rail said rail journeys had increased by almost 50 per cent over the last decade – with another 400m rail journeys a year expected by 2020. However, the likely improvements for Bradford and the rest of the North will not arrive until phase two of HS2 is completed, in 2033.

And Network Rail stressed that fares on HS2 must be in line with those on the existing network in order for that spare capacity to be released.

HS2 will deliver 225mph trains from London to Birmingham by 2026 – and a Y-shaped network, on to Leeds and Manchester, seven years later.

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:26pm Tue 6 Aug 13

Apollo says...

Jackabory, jackanory......

Never going to happen in a million years.
Jackabory, jackanory...... Never going to happen in a million years. Apollo
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Tue 6 Aug 13

Steve30d says...

so the lines out of interchange would be electrified?
so the lines out of interchange would be electrified? Steve30d
  • Score: 0

5:10pm Tue 6 Aug 13

king karl says...

so how many bradfordians work in london

A high speed link to the job centre would be better served
so how many bradfordians work in london A high speed link to the job centre would be better served king karl
  • Score: 7

6:49pm Tue 6 Aug 13

Hund01 says...

I wonder if Philip Davies is sponsored by the powerful extremely wealthy road lobby which is mainly responsible for the antiquated 50 year behind the times rail network we have today.

A direct link between Leeds and London is one of the main reasons Leeds has prospered while Bradford has degenerated.
If you compare Britain's rail network and trains to many other major European countries, our standard is both pathetic and rotten.
I wonder if Philip Davies is sponsored by the powerful extremely wealthy road lobby which is mainly responsible for the antiquated 50 year behind the times rail network we have today. A direct link between Leeds and London is one of the main reasons Leeds has prospered while Bradford has degenerated. If you compare Britain's rail network and trains to many other major European countries, our standard is both pathetic and rotten. Hund01
  • Score: 1

7:51pm Tue 6 Aug 13

mad matt says...

How many people actually want to travel to London from Bradford on a daily basis, not all that many I would have thought. If the money was put into improving speed and capacity on the local and cross-country routes that a lot of people use on a daily commute, that would be money well spent. Plus the local and cross country routes feed the main line.
The time and stress saved on the local part of the journey would far outweigh the 20 minutes saved on the comparatively rare journey to the capital.
How many people actually want to travel to London from Bradford on a daily basis, not all that many I would have thought. If the money was put into improving speed and capacity on the local and cross-country routes that a lot of people use on a daily commute, that would be money well spent. Plus the local and cross country routes feed the main line. The time and stress saved on the local part of the journey would far outweigh the 20 minutes saved on the comparatively rare journey to the capital. mad matt
  • Score: 1

8:34pm Tue 6 Aug 13

johnjefkins says...

HS2 is for LONG Distance journeys.
Just as you would not expect to commute from Bradford airport, you would not expect to use HS2 for commuting.

But HS2 will free up our main lines for more local trains too - such as new direct services from Bradford.

But it will be worth changing to HS2 if you want to reach Sheffield or Nottingham or Birmingham or London - as HS2 will HALVE journey times to each of those places. It takes AN HOUR each way (ie TWO HOURS off a return journey) to either Birmingham or London - and trains will carry on through London to France and perhaps Germany too.
HS2 is for LONG Distance journeys. Just as you would not expect to commute from Bradford airport, you would not expect to use HS2 for commuting. But HS2 will free up our main lines for more local trains too - such as new direct services from Bradford. But it will be worth changing to HS2 if you want to reach Sheffield or Nottingham or Birmingham or London - as HS2 will HALVE journey times to each of those places. It takes AN HOUR each way (ie TWO HOURS off a return journey) to either Birmingham or London - and trains will carry on through London to France and perhaps Germany too. johnjefkins
  • Score: 2

8:39pm Tue 6 Aug 13

MontyLeMar says...

I travel up to London quite regularly and I do not need a direct train. A quick 20 minute ride from Forster Square and you are in the heart of Leeds with all the London trains you would ever need every 30 or 40 minutes. How many trains are we going to get from Bradford, 4 or 6 a day? Plus they will be slow trains. Most self-respecting business men would get the chauffeur to drop them off in Leeds to catch the Flyer rather than plod up to the capital in slow clapped-out Inter-City 125 rolling stock. Dream on Bradford, we're in the slow lane, get used to it.
I travel up to London quite regularly and I do not need a direct train. A quick 20 minute ride from Forster Square and you are in the heart of Leeds with all the London trains you would ever need every 30 or 40 minutes. How many trains are we going to get from Bradford, 4 or 6 a day? Plus they will be slow trains. Most self-respecting business men would get the chauffeur to drop them off in Leeds to catch the Flyer rather than plod up to the capital in slow clapped-out Inter-City 125 rolling stock. Dream on Bradford, we're in the slow lane, get used to it. MontyLeMar
  • Score: 0

9:11pm Tue 6 Aug 13

micela22 says...

need to concentrate on getting traffic in Bradford moving, Quicker to get to Manchester Airport than it is to Leeds Bradford at peak times. Move `for sale` cars at side of road & keep traffic moving at peak times - not what the `green lot` want but definitely what local commuters deserve & pay for
need to concentrate on getting traffic in Bradford moving, Quicker to get to Manchester Airport than it is to Leeds Bradford at peak times. Move `for sale` cars at side of road & keep traffic moving at peak times - not what the `green lot` want but definitely what local commuters deserve & pay for micela22
  • Score: 1

10:35pm Tue 6 Aug 13

ollie59 says...

MontyLeMar wrote:
I travel up to London quite regularly and I do not need a direct train. A quick 20 minute ride from Forster Square and you are in the heart of Leeds with all the London trains you would ever need every 30 or 40 minutes. How many trains are we going to get from Bradford, 4 or 6 a day? Plus they will be slow trains. Most self-respecting business men would get the chauffeur to drop them off in Leeds to catch the Flyer rather than plod up to the capital in slow clapped-out Inter-City 125 rolling stock. Dream on Bradford, we're in the slow lane, get used to it.
Couldn't agree more. Even quicker from Saltaire and Shipley if you live that way.
[quote][p][bold]MontyLeMar[/bold] wrote: I travel up to London quite regularly and I do not need a direct train. A quick 20 minute ride from Forster Square and you are in the heart of Leeds with all the London trains you would ever need every 30 or 40 minutes. How many trains are we going to get from Bradford, 4 or 6 a day? Plus they will be slow trains. Most self-respecting business men would get the chauffeur to drop them off in Leeds to catch the Flyer rather than plod up to the capital in slow clapped-out Inter-City 125 rolling stock. Dream on Bradford, we're in the slow lane, get used to it.[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more. Even quicker from Saltaire and Shipley if you live that way. ollie59
  • Score: 1

11:05pm Tue 6 Aug 13

johnhem says...

the keyword here is COULD. as this is Bradford it should probably be WON'T. if there is funding available lets have a ring road worthy of the name, and a connected M606 to the airevalley/Shipley rd.
the keyword here is COULD. as this is Bradford it should probably be WON'T. if there is funding available lets have a ring road worthy of the name, and a connected M606 to the airevalley/Shipley rd. johnhem
  • Score: 0

11:25pm Tue 6 Aug 13

stevion12 says...

more likely to be "won't" then "could" i bet,
more likely to be "won't" then "could" i bet, stevion12
  • Score: 0

11:30pm Tue 6 Aug 13

justjustice says...

I think the council should rethink the Broadway project.

It should go back to the original size along with the merging of the railway stations. With a high speed link to london Bradford, IF planned properly could climb out of the gutter by attacking more businesses to the area.
I think the council should rethink the Broadway project. It should go back to the original size along with the merging of the railway stations. With a high speed link to london Bradford, IF planned properly could climb out of the gutter by attacking more businesses to the area. justjustice
  • Score: 1

10:23am Wed 7 Aug 13

grahamnalty says...

Bradford is a city of half a million people. In any other country, Bradford would have fast long distance high speed trains calling at the city's 'Hautbanhof'. Surely some of the high speed trains bound for Leeds could call at Bradford instead. Or go on from Leeds to Bradford. On the West Coast Main Line, one train an hour goes on from Birmingham to Wolverhampton, a city half the size of Bradford. With the planned position of the Leeds high speed platforms, away from Leeds station, the changing of trains will add half an hour to the journey. So part of the saving with the higher speed will be lost. A slower direct service on the East Coast Main Line to London with a number of stops will not be as fast as changing in Leeds to HS2, despite the extended connection time.
Bradford is a city of half a million people. In any other country, Bradford would have fast long distance high speed trains calling at the city's 'Hautbanhof'. Surely some of the high speed trains bound for Leeds could call at Bradford instead. Or go on from Leeds to Bradford. On the West Coast Main Line, one train an hour goes on from Birmingham to Wolverhampton, a city half the size of Bradford. With the planned position of the Leeds high speed platforms, away from Leeds station, the changing of trains will add half an hour to the journey. So part of the saving with the higher speed will be lost. A slower direct service on the East Coast Main Line to London with a number of stops will not be as fast as changing in Leeds to HS2, despite the extended connection time. grahamnalty
  • Score: 0

3:40pm Wed 7 Aug 13

MontyLeMar says...

grahamnalty wrote:
Bradford is a city of half a million people. In any other country, Bradford would have fast long distance high speed trains calling at the city's 'Hautbanhof'. Surely some of the high speed trains bound for Leeds could call at Bradford instead. Or go on from Leeds to Bradford. On the West Coast Main Line, one train an hour goes on from Birmingham to Wolverhampton, a city half the size of Bradford. With the planned position of the Leeds high speed platforms, away from Leeds station, the changing of trains will add half an hour to the journey. So part of the saving with the higher speed will be lost. A slower direct service on the East Coast Main Line to London with a number of stops will not be as fast as changing in Leeds to HS2, despite the extended connection time.
Surely Bradford Metropolitan District has a population of about 500k but that includes a few reluctant local towns like Bingley, Keighley, Shipley, Ilkley, Saltaire, etc. The population of Bradford is about 300k, still a large number I agree. I can't see why they should build a line to by-pass Leeds and go straight to Bradford, Leeds is where the action is and at £160 million a mile for the track I can't see the few Bradfordians who will use it can justify the outlay when you can just get a NorthernRail train from Leeds into Bradford in 20 minutes. I used to work in Leeds not long ago and would sometimes get the 6.00pm London-Bradford train run by GNER. It was virtually empty when it left Leeds with only a very few passengers. How they could justify this 14 carriage train trundling down the line to Bradford I don't know. National Express axed the service and East Coast never reintroduced it.
[quote][p][bold]grahamnalty[/bold] wrote: Bradford is a city of half a million people. In any other country, Bradford would have fast long distance high speed trains calling at the city's 'Hautbanhof'. Surely some of the high speed trains bound for Leeds could call at Bradford instead. Or go on from Leeds to Bradford. On the West Coast Main Line, one train an hour goes on from Birmingham to Wolverhampton, a city half the size of Bradford. With the planned position of the Leeds high speed platforms, away from Leeds station, the changing of trains will add half an hour to the journey. So part of the saving with the higher speed will be lost. A slower direct service on the East Coast Main Line to London with a number of stops will not be as fast as changing in Leeds to HS2, despite the extended connection time.[/p][/quote]Surely Bradford Metropolitan District has a population of about 500k but that includes a few reluctant local towns like Bingley, Keighley, Shipley, Ilkley, Saltaire, etc. The population of Bradford is about 300k, still a large number I agree. I can't see why they should build a line to by-pass Leeds and go straight to Bradford, Leeds is where the action is and at £160 million a mile for the track I can't see the few Bradfordians who will use it can justify the outlay when you can just get a NorthernRail train from Leeds into Bradford in 20 minutes. I used to work in Leeds not long ago and would sometimes get the 6.00pm London-Bradford train run by GNER. It was virtually empty when it left Leeds with only a very few passengers. How they could justify this 14 carriage train trundling down the line to Bradford I don't know. National Express axed the service and East Coast never reintroduced it. MontyLeMar
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree