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We published the final London & South East RUS on 28 July 2011. This followed several months of further development by the rail industry and extensive discussions with stakeholders following publication of a Draft for Consultation in December 2010.
This RUS builds on the series of first generation RUSs, published between 2005 and 2011, covering routes into and around the capital. Given the length of time which has passed since some of these earlier publications, and the current circumstances which now apply, updates are needed in several areas which this RUS examines. As a result it represents our latest analysis with respect to an appropriate strategy to 2031 for the South East England railway network as a whole.
The RUS forecasts a significant increase in the numbers of commuters using National Rail services into the capital during the weekday morning peaks. This is linked to economic forecasts for central London employment, which is expected to grow throughout the lifetime of this strategy. The RUS therefore focuses on how to increase peak rail capacity to accommodate this extra demand on the routes where it is forecast to materialise.
It restates, where still appropriate, previous RUS recommendations affecting routes into the capital. Beyond this, it also makes the case for additional interventions on the Great Western, West Anglia, Great Eastern and South West main lines, together with the busy orbital network around the capital. Passenger capacity for commuters is a central theme in the document, with significant growth forecasts on many routes. The RUS also covers the growing role of rail freight, removing lorries from increasingly congested roads.
The recommendations contained in this RUS are designed as a starting point to inform future infrastructure or train service planning and, where necessary, further analysis. In this context the RUS is consistent with Sir Roy McNulty's Value for Money study and in recommending these interventions, the RUS has sought to avoid major capital expenditure unless absolutely necessary. In most cases the capacity interventions appear achievable through relatively modest works. However it is recognised that routes into London Waterloo remain a longer term challenge with further development of options required.
The RUS is published at a time when work on the Crossrail and Thameslink projects is well underway. These will provide a major capacity increase for London's rail network and will reduce the need for passengers to interchange onto the congested London Underground network. The RUS includes the latest assumptions regarding possible Thameslink service patterns and describes industry thinking for potential future extensions to Crossrail, including recommendations for an extension to Reading and an extension to the West Coast Main Line.
With respect to key growth areas around Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire the RUS notes that the development of a new high speed line will free commuter capacity on the suburban and inter-urban services into London Euston.
Transport for London have been heavily involved in the RUS development. The RUS outlines possibilities for future development of the rail network in the London area, including the possible development of a 'Crossrail line 2' route. Other potential expansions to the network include a recommendation for further work on a new western rail access to Heathrow Airport.
The RUS notes that, along with the Department for Transport, the industry is keen to participate in the planned fares review, and in particular to investigate the extent to which ticket pricing structures might enable a more even distribution of passenger numbers across the day.
The RUS contains a detailed study of the South Hampshire and Solent area, which was only partially covered by the 2005 South West Main Line RUS. This section has been developed closely with the local authorities and train operators using this part of the network.
Subject to approval by the Office of Rail Regulation this RUS will become established industry strategy later this summer.
London and South East Route Utilisation Strategy July 2011. Contents 3 Foreword 5 Executive Summary 26 1. Background 29 2. Scope and planning context 35 3. Consultation Process 46 4. Ov
1. Planning and Regulation Route Planning/RUS London and South East RUS Route Utilisation Strategy Version: 0.0 Printed by: Andrew Scogings Printed on: 04 January 2012 No filter applied. Summary of RU