Greengauge 21 is a company that has long supported High Speed Rail, and has weighed in behind the HS2 proposal. They’ve recently published a report in which they argue that it would be possible for the government to link HS2 to improvements to local rail services that would give people in Bucks and neighbouring counties some benefits to set against the financial and environmental costs of HS2.
They say that new services could be run from Aylesbury to Watford Junction and the West Coast Main Line via a new (but oft-mooted) Croxley link and that a new link to Heathrow could provide direct rail access to and from the airport for the Wycombe-Risborough branch of the Chiltern Line.
It’s an interesting line of argument and one that I hadn’t heard before. Better local rail services would be attractive, though I noted that Greengauge did not envisage these being provided until after HS2 had been completed. Indeed, they seem to reckon that the prospect of a direct Chiltern Line-Heathrow connection in particular would have to wait until much later. And of course money would have to be found to finance the new links suggested.
Of course nothing that Greengauge suggests would lessen the environmental impact of HS2 and I doubt that their proposals would make any difference either to the business case for HS2 which is the subject of such vigorous controversy. But I’d be interested to know what my constituents think.