Commuters to gain from HS2

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PROTESTORS with placards and signs descended on Milton Keynes Central station on Friday to oppose plans for the High Speed Rail Link HS2.

The protest was organised by the South Northants Action Group with the aim of warning commuters of the negative aspects of having a new high speed rail link between London and Birmingham.

They feel that putting in the extra high speed platforms would mean rebuilding Euston, moving all the platforms round and changing the configuration of the tracks outside the station.

They also feel that there will be fewer long distance trains from the city and no high speed rail station in Milton Keynes either.

But city MPs claim commuters are set to benefit from the new high speed link between London and Birmingham.

And research has shown that the new high speed rail line could nearly double the number of trains from the city to London – which is welcome news for commuters.

Network Rail has projected that the West Coast Main Line will reach full capacity by 2024 and the first phase of HS2, from London to the West Midlands, would free up space for a significant increase in commuter, regional and freight services.

MP for Milton Keynes North, Mark Lancaster, said: “This research is fantastic news for the commuters of Milton Keynes, who literally cannot stand having to stand for their journey to work every single day, while paying thousands of pounds for the privilege.

“It is great to see the figures reinforcing what we have been told about HS2. It’s about time Milton Keynes got a better deal but equally the route itself needs to be the right one for the country.”

Transport secretary Philip Hammond singled out Milton Keynes as the ultimate beneficiary of such a scheme.

He said: “Our proposed new high speed rail network would free up a huge amount of space on current railways for more trains to operate.

“Passengers in some towns like Milton Keynes could see a near doubling in the number of trains from their station to London because of HS2.”