Parliamentary Inquiry into Britain's Rail Capacity launched today
Embargoed 00:00 Thursday 9 February
Today, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for High Speed Rail (1) has launched an inquiry into Britain’s rail capacity. The inquiry seeks to
- establish the future capacity requirements of Britain’s railway infrastructure
- consider the most appropriate way to address these requirements in the long-term
The inquiry launches a month after the Government announced its decision to push ahead with the first phase of HS2.
This inquiry seeks to independently assess all of the evidence about future capacity and establish conclusions on the best solutions for the railways in the future.
Call for evidence
The APPG is calling for submissions to the inquiry from stakeholders and members of the public (2). Evidence can be submitted in written or oral form, with three oral evidence sessions taking place in March and April (3). The inquiry wants to hear all viewpoints and will produce a detailed report of its findings incorporating all of the evidence submitted.
Stuart Andrew, Conservative MP for Pudsey and Co-Chair of the APPG, said:
“The past decade has seen a huge surge in demand for Britain’s railways. This inquiry will study in detail the passenger demand forecasts and all of the options that have been put forward to relieve our creaking railway infrastructure.
“We are calling for evidence from as many stakeholders and members of the public as possible in order to help us make this inquiry exhaustive and conclusive.
“Despite the Government giving the green-light to HS2, it is imperative that we feel 100% confident. This inquiry will put an end to any question marks that may remain, and establish the best way of creating long-term capacity on the Britain’s railways”.
Graham Stringer, Labour MP for Brackley and Broughton and Co-Chair of the APPG, said:
“I am pleased to be launching this inquiry at a time when the spotlight has been on the struggling economies in the North of England during the current recession.
“The North relies on its connectivity to the rest of the UK and the continent in order to trade and do business. It is absolutely critical that we ensure the best transport links for the future in order to enable these economies to grow.
“At a time of massive job losses and economic uncertainty, this inquiry will provide conclusions to help us best plan for future passenger demand on the railways.
We must ensure that the North is not pushed further away from the South East by bottlenecks and congestion on our railways. I therefore urge as many people to submit evidence to this inquiry as possible.”
1. The APPG for High Speed Rail is a cross-party group of parliamentarians who believe that the UK needs a modern high-speed rail network. The group’s objectives are to raise awareness of the need for high-speed rail among parliamentarians and to provide a forum for discussion and debate on high-speed rail.
2. For more details, visit the APPG’s website at www.appghsr.co.uk.). The deadline for written submissions is midday Tuesday 13
3. For details on how to submit evidence, see the Terms of Reference (download here).
4. The oral evidence sessions are taking place on 14th March, 2012. March, 21st March and 18th April. Details of the witnesses will be released at a future date
5. For media inquiries please call Lucy on 020 3397 2416 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Members of the APPG will be available for interview.