On 11 February 2020, the government published the independent Oakervee review of the High Speed 2 rail project and announced plans to proceed with High Speed 2, with construction of Phase 1 from London to the West Midlands set to begin in April.
At the same time, the government announced its intention to draw up an integrated rail plan for the North and Midlands, to identify the most effective sequencing of relevant investments and how to integrate HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and other rail investments.
On 21 February 2020, government published the terms of reference for its integrated rail plan. This plan will be informed by an assessment of the rail needs of the Midlands and the North undertaken by the Commission, the final report of which was published on 15 December 2020.
In undertaking its study, the Commission operated independently, at arms length from government.
In preparing the Assessment, the Commission developed a structured approach to engagement bearing in mind the current circumstances: through virtual meetings; roundtables and other face-to-face meetings once circumstances allowed; and through a call for evidence launched on 25 March 2020 (which closed on 29 May).
The final report was published on 15 December 2020.
An earlier interim report – which sets out the methodology the Commission used to complete its assessment – was published on 15 July. Technical annexes underpinning the Assessment can be found below, under ‘Latest Updates’.
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North - final report
The final report of the Rail Needs Assessment was published on 15 December 2020.
The report says that improving rail links between cities in the North and Midlands should be the first priority of a new approach to end stop-start investments and help level up the UK as part of a wider economic strategy.
Coming up in 2022
This page shows a calendar reflecting the latest expected dates for Commission reports, publications and events. You can also sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter by entering your email address in the box at the very foot of our homepage; or sign up to receive updates specifically on the programme for the second National...
“A realistic plan for major long term investments”: Commission responds to Integrated Rail Plan
Responding to the government’s publication of its Integrated Rail Plan, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt said: “We now have a realistic plan for major long term investments to improve rail for the North and Midlands in the face of public spending constraints. In our advice to government the Commission made the...
Focus rail investment on linking key cities in North and Midlands to unlock economic benefits, says Commission
Improving rail links between cities in the North and Midlands should be the first priority of a new approach to end stop-start investments and help level up the UK as part of a wider economic strategy, according to a major new report by the National Infrastructure Commission. The Commission was asked by the Prime Minister in February 2020 to undertake an assessment of proposed major rail schemes to help inform the government’s...
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Final report
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Modelling and data annex
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Reference class forecast
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Amenity benefit valuation
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Social research
Rail Needs Assessment: the fiscal remit and the assessment budget