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Regular feature: Issue 588 20 Jan 2012

Greening puts Britain on track to a high-speed future

The Government’s high-speed rail plans could have profound effects on Britain’s urban geography and generate huge additional demands for investment in local transport networks to serve the stations. But there are still battles ahead before the plans become reality.

Andrew Forster

In announcing the Government’s decision to press ahead with plans for a high-speed rail network (HS2) last week, transport secretary Justine Greening described the venture as “the most significant transport infrastructure project since the building of the motorways”. For once, the hype seemed justified; the network is likely to reshape travel patterns, local transport networks, and spatial development in many parts of the country.

If all goes to plan, passengers will be...

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