Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North

Status:Final report complete.  Published:

A study to inform the government's Integrated Rail Plan.

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.

Our approach

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’.

Final Report

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.

Read the final report

Report cover showing a woman at a station looking at the departure boards

Latest Updates

Focus rail investment on linking key cities in North and Midlands to unlock economic benefits, says Commission
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North
Image showing departure boards at Leeds station.

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...

15 Dec 2020 By
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Final report
A woman at a train station looking at departure boards

Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Final report

15 Dec 2020
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Modelling and data annex
York, UK - August 05, 2013: York railway station where the platforms curve under the famous glass and iron curved arched roof. Train awaits departure to London. Some passengers are waiting train for departure.

Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Modelling and data annex

15 Dec 2020
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Reference class forecast
The front cover of the report by Oxford Global Projects

Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Reference class forecast

15 Dec 2020
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Amenity benefit valuation
Manchester Piccadilly station

Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Amenity benefit valuation

15 Dec 2020
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Social research
The cover of the social research by Britain thinks

Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Social research

9 Dec 2020
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: interim report
York, UK - August 05, 2013: York railway station where the platforms curve under the famous glass and iron curved arched roof. Train awaits departure to London. Some passengers are waiting train for departure.

Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: interim report

15 Jul 2020
Rail Needs Assessment: the fiscal remit and the assessment budget
thumbnail of RNA Interim Report Technical Annex

Rail Needs Assessment: the fiscal remit and the assessment budget

15 Jul 2020
Rail Needs Assessment: call for evidence
Cover of the Rail Needs Assessment Call for Evidence report

Rail Needs Assessment: call for evidence

25 Mar 2020

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