A response by CPRE to the Department for Transport consultation
This response explores how increased levels of smart and integrating ticketing can be rolled out across rural areas, incorporating existing best practice such as 'demand responsive' bus services, and facilitating investment small rural operators.
Response by CPRE to the HS2 Ltd Consultation
CPRE welcomes the opportunity to comment, though this is perhaps more of an outline Environmental Statement (ES) than a draft one. We hope that the consultation period for the formal ES will be longer and data will be provided in advance where possible. The lack of information about the Zone of Theoretical Visibility or maximum noise levels makes it difficult to assess the full impact on the countryside at this stage.
CPRE is concerned about HS2 Ltd's approach to mitigation, the lack of any long-term funding for mitigation, the lack of mechanisms to make sure environmental commitments are kept to and the lack of explanation how HS2 is being designed to fit in with local landscape character. Wider impacts of HS2, such as on patterns of development and land use, including the impact on the Green Belt, are not being assessed properly.
Why new thinking is needed about High Speed Rail
The debate on High Speed Rail (HSR) offers a once in a generation opportunity to achieve a more countryside friendly transport system. The potential benefits of HSR are not, however, a foregone conclusion. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) therefore supports the principle of HSR but believes the detail, including the context, of proposals such as High Speed 2 (HS2) needs to be carefully planned.
This document is CPRE's consultation response to the Department for Transport's consultation on High Speed Rail that ended in July 2011. CPRE welcomes the Government’s ambition to make rail the longer distance transport mode of choice. We support the principle of High Speed 2 between London and the Midlands as part of the step change in rail capacity that would be needed to achieve this. However, we consider the current proposals and process by which they have been drawn up and are being consulted on to be flawed in a number of respects. In particular there is no broader national transport strategy to judge the proposals against.
CPRE responded to consultation on Better Rail Stations report supporting increased investment in rail stations but calling for alternatives to the 100,000 new car parking spaces to be considered. Our call was supported by a wide range of NGOs.
This petition is a formal summary of CPRE's grounds of objection to the High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill, which would give planning approval for phase 1 of High Speed 2. We call for the proposals to been changed, so as to secure better protection of the landscape and tranquillity, more integration with local transport, significant reduction of carbon emissions and a greater fit with national planning policy in order to regenerate brownfield land.