The Government may think they’ve won the fight on HS2.

But the real battleground has moved on.

The fight is now to ensure that the people of the UK get the hugely-enhanced and better-connected railway network that the Government has promised.

This is exactly what High Speed UK is designed to achieve.

 The HSUK strategy is to:


The Government claim that they understand the need for a better network.  After all, when they gave HS2 the go-ahead, they also started developing an ‘Integrated Rail Plan for the Whole GB Network’.

But HS2 has been designed with no thought for integration or network - so any Integrated Rail Plan based on HS2 must surely fail.

Boris Johnson and his Government must provide the responses necessary to demonstrate that an Integrated Rail Plan based on HS2 will deliver the transformed national network that the nation needs, and meet all the Government’s pledges on levelling up, CO2 reductions etc.  

If he can do so, then we will gladly withdraw our concerns, and apologise to anyone we might have offended.  But if he cannot, then he must immediately abandon the failed HS2 scheme that will never deliver the network that the people of the UK need and deserve.  Instead, he must seek an alternative scheme that actually works.  Our contact details are on the website – just give us a call!!  

The Integrated Rail Plan – just repeating the problems of HS2

Regrettably, the Government never set any technical targets for the Integrated Rail Plan – for instance which cities should be connected, or what the journey times should be.  All they’ve done is to stipulate that the Integrated Rail Plan should create an ‘integrated network’,  and should be based upon HS2, and upon major schemes (such as Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Rail Hub) that are also based on HS2.

These dependencies set up a self-evident problem.  How can an integrated network be developed from HS2, which was designed with no thought for integration?

This clear mistake, and many other HS2 deficiencies, will be replicated and magnified in the Integrated Rail Plan.   

And if the Integrated Rail Plan fails, so do the Government’s agendas for:

Clearly, it’s vital for everyone that the Government develop the best possible Integrated Rail Plan to deliver the best possible network.

So, to assist the Government in this undertaking…

We’ve developed 7 key principles for how the Integrated Rail Plan should perform.

We’ve assessed the performance of Integrated Rail Plans based on HS2 and

HSUK against this specification in the Midlands, the North and for links to

Scotland and Northern Ireland.

These assessments demonstrate conclusively the hugely sub optimal performance of any Integrated Rail Plan based upon HS2.

These assessments also demonstrate the imperative for a holistic programme of railway network development that will actually succeed in connecting the nation.

Our Challenge to the Government and HS2 Ltd…

HSUK’s comprehensively superior performance as a national railway network raises massive questions as to the competence and the integrity of the processes by which the HS2 project has developed so far:

1. Why does HS2 fail to interconnect the UK’s principal cities?

2. Why does HS2 offer such meagre journey time reductions?

3. Why does HS2 perform so poorly as a national network?

4. Why does HS2 effectively sabotage the Northern Powerhouse?

5. Why does HS2 offer no direct links between Midlands cities?

6. Why does HS2 fail to offer meaningful reductions in transport CO2 emissions, as required by the 2008 Climate Change Act?

7. Why does HS2 cause such needless damage to communities and environment?

8. Why do HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail combined cost over £20 billion more to build than HSUK?

Our Challenge to the Government and HS2 Ltd is simple.

 Please explain how HS2 and associated schemes (Northern Powerhouse Rail, Midlands Rail Hub etc) will deliver the best railway network for the people of the UK.

 Please explain why those charged with developing HS2 have consistently rejected the superior-performing HSUK, and appear to lack any competence in designing a railway network.

Our Challenge to the people of the UK is even simpler.

The United Kingdom deserves the best possible railway system, delivering the greatest possible connectivity and capacity for the least possible cost and environmental impact.  It’s the Government’s responsibility to deliver this.

Please hold your Government to account.

For further information please consult:

Our network in crisis – links to key HSUK reports.

The HSUK Challenge.

Our extensive Document Library.

Our latest short presentation.

Our latest longer presentation.

Mail: the Website Mail: – you really need to look at the HSUK alternative’

“HS2 modelling is shocking, biased and bonkers.”

Margaret Hodge, Chair, Public Accounts Committee

“No economic case for HS2... it will destroy jobs and force businesses to close.”

Institute of Economic Affairs


High Speed UK - Connecting the Nation

We’ve written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson,

Opposition Leader Sir Keir Starmer and all MPs

to set out our detailed concerns.

We’ve told Boris Johnson that only an Integrated Rail Plan

based on our own High Speed UK proposals can possibly

deliver the optimised network that the nation needs.

We’ve challenged Boris Johnson to seek answers to 7 key questions

for which any competent and professional transport advisor

should be able to provide adequate responses.




K01 HSUK system map.pdf

Introducing High Speed UK (HSUK)…

HSUK has been developed by professional railway engineers to offer the people of the UK a real choice to the failing HS2 proposals.

HSUK’s blend of new high speed lines, upgraded existing routes and restored abandoned routes has been designed to achieve the following 8 primary objectives:

  1. Optimised connectivity with direct links between all UK principal cities.
  2. Radically reduced journey times on all intercity routes.
  3. A high-capacity integrated national network interlinking all regions.
  4. A new transpennine main line for passengers and freight to link the key cities of the Northern Powerhouse.
  5. New routes to link Midlands cities & fire up the Midlands Engine.
  6. Step-change reductions in transport CO2 emissions.
  7. Minimised damage to communities and environment.
  8. Minimised cost of construction.

Click on each point to learn how HSUK’s designed national network outperforms HS2 in every possible way.

Click on each of the buttons below to see how HSUK will transform the connectivity of every UK region:

Scotland The South West East Anglia London & the SE Midlands The North West Scotland Wales Yorks & NE A15 210910 HSUK Union Connectivity Review input.pdf



Click on the map for a larger scale plan of HSUK National Network


High Speed UK - Connecting the Nation