Increasing capacity on the west coast main line
At the present time on the West Coast Main Line there is only limited over crowding on long distance InterCity services. Standard class seats will be increased by 42% following committed investment for four new Pendolino trains and the lengthening of 31 of the 52 trains using the route.
Converting one first class car in each train would increase standard class capacity by 19% at minimal cost. Trains on all routes with the exception of Liverpool could be increased to 12 cars increasing the standard class capacity by a further 25%. Overall standard class capacity on the route can be increased by 112% without any signifiant infrastructure investment.
Carrying out specific infrastructure improvements at an estimated cost of £1.1663 billion, increasing all day frequency form 9 to 11 trains per hour would increase capacity by a further 17%.
Overall, the initiatives identified to date would achieve an increase in standard class capacity of 177%, far in excess of the 102% background growth forecast by HS2 by 2043.
There is no case for consructing HS2 to meet the need for increased capacity for the foreseeable future.