Business Travel Show Europe Kick Off, 23 February,
Global Travel Risk Summit Europe, May 2023,
3rd Annual Sustainable Business Travel Summit
A French high-speed TGV
If ministers do not agree quickly to give the go-ahead for a national high-speed rail network it could hamper the UK economy”s growth by a whopping ”60bn ($117bn), according to one workers body.
Rail union TSSA general secretary Gerry Doherty said: ”The economic and environmental case for new high-speed rail lines is now overwhelming. For an outlay of ”30bn during the next 15 years, a modern high-speed rail network would generate economic growth of more than ”60bn throughout the UK.
”We would not only halve the journey times between London and Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow but we would give a massive injection into the regional economies in terms of jobs, productivity and new companies.”
Ministers have said they will not make a decision on the new high-speed lines before 2015 depending on passenger growth on the West and East Coast lines he added, but pointed out competition across the Channel is already showing how it can ” and should ” be done.
”We cannot afford to delay any longer if we want to match the best in Europe,” said Doherty. ”You can travel 400 miles in Spain between Seville and Madrid in two hours for just ”50 but it takes five hours and ”130 to undertake a similar journey in the UK between London and Glasgow.
”For a country that invented rail travel, that is a pathetic record. If the Government is serious about a modern public transport system, it must give the green light for high-speed rail travel today.”
Environmentally, he also pointed out it would make a major impact because with Birmingham just an hour from London and Glasgow three, the travelling public would have a viable swift and cheap alternative to the low-costs airlines.
” Strike threats to the rail network already posed by an RMT ballot of 17,000 Network Rail staff are being exacerbated as TSSA says it is holding a referendum among 5,000 maintenance staff on whether to take industrial action at the same.
The earliest the strikes could take place would be Thursday 29 May, a week after the RMT announces its ballot results. The second UK May bank holiday is the previous weekend.