Jill Hope

Northamptonshire County Councillor for Sixfields - a Lib Dem campaigner working all year round, not just at election time Learn more

Read more on this

Read more on this

West Coast Main Line capacity running out by 2020

by Jill Hope on 13 March, 2011

WRITING in The Guardian, Jim Steer, director of Greengauge 21, a non-profit making organisation researching high-speed rail says: “HS2 is the most efficient way to tackle a fully foreseeable problem – transport capacity is running out”.

Northbound Pendolino emerging from Roade cutting on the West Coast Main Line

“It is better to build from scratch rather than again attempt a disruptive line-of-route-upgrade”.

Jill Hope agrees and says: “We certainly don’t want another prolonged and disruptive upgrade to the line from Northampton to London”.

“Commuters to Euston from Northampton would have every right to howl if that were to happen.”

The West Coast Main Line (WCML) through this part of the county is expected to reach capacity by 2020. This will be five years before HS2 is in place, at least as far as Birmingham, to ease congestion on the WCML.

Earlier this month the Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR) said it would allow a 10-year track access contract for the new WCML franchise, allowing more flexible track access rights than currently. The ORR has approved London Midland’s additional services between London Euston and Northampton.

Jill Hope said: “This is good news for commuters to Euston, and hopefully Birmingham as well.” It is hoped that the new franchise will operate from April next year, with a revised timetable in place for implementation in stages from December 2013.

Northampton Rails Users’ Group looks after Northampton’s commuters – see link on the right.


2 Responses

  1. HS2 is not sustainable – the costs outweigh the benefits, the environmental damage will be devastating. The Transport Select Committee are holding an Inquiry into the Economic Case. HS2 is not the most affordable or sustainable alternative. Green Party likes trains but not this one – and there are very good reasons for this.
    How many are losing their job because of cuts? Local jobs and local transport is what is needed. Northampton will NOT benefit from HS2.

  2. Susan says:


    As libraries padlock their hallowed doors
    And swimming pools close to further the cause
    The plan for expenditure on this new scheme
    Will cost us billions to fulfil the dream

    Crumbling schools with no hope of repair
    Hospital wards facing closure – despair!
    Careers of policemen cut short in their prime
    To enable the affluent to cut journey time.

    The service of soldiers curtailed by email
    And naval equipment offered for sale
    Air and sea rescue will soon disappear
    As the vision of High Speed Rail looms very near

    The plan for the track cuts a swathe through the land
    Devastating the countryside on either hand
    Destruction of habitat – fauna and flora
    Replaced by a bullet with quicksilver aura.

    Speed is the essence no matter the cost
    Hedgerows and trees irretrievably lost.
    What will be gained by the grandiose plan?
    A huge national deficit, a millstone for man.

    Paddy Spears aged 80

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>