The proposed high speed direct rail service connecting passengers travelling between Carlisle and London will provide a welcome boost to the Lake District’s 2040 Visitor Travel Vision.
Current plans for HS2 include work at Carlisle station that will enable HS2 trains to stop there, and reduce journey times between Carlisle and London by almost an hour. This will enable more people to access Cumbria’s unique tourism offer, which supports the National Park’s economic growth and sustainable travel ambitions.
As one the UK’s leading tourism destinations, the Lake District National Park is a magnet for UK and overseas visitors. Growth is projected to continue at pace, with potentially 22 million people per annum heading to the Lake District by 2040.
Tourism is vital to the region’s economy but, changing the way the growing number of people travel to and around the Lakes is integral to reducing carbon emissions and protecting its natural heritage.
A direct, high speed rail link supports the drive to get more people out of cars, off planes and on to rail, in line with the Government’s target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It also supports the National Park’s ambition for 50% more visitors to arrive by rail.
Mark Thurston, CEO of HS2 Ltd said:
“HS2 will revolutionise the way we travel around Britain. High speed rail connections will make it easier for people to travel to their favourite destinations and provide a cleaner, greener way to do it.
“Cumbria is home to some of the country’s finest green spaces and dramatic landscapes and we’re proud to be supporting their sustainable transport vision.”
HS2 will offer some of the lowest carbon emissions per passenger km - 7 times less than passenger cars and 17 times less than domestic air travel, making it an ideal choice for visitors who want to support the Lake District’s green credentials.
As well as delivering a cleaner travel solution, HS2 will provide the quickest mode of travel between the capital and Carlisle. It will slice almost an hour off the current fastest journey time by rail, reducing it down to just two hours and 23 minutes.
Welcoming the plans, Jim Walker, Chairman of Cumbria Tourism said:
“HS2 will provide a real step change for Cumbria and our visitor economy. With further improvements to public transport and increased sustainable travel provision in County, visitors will be able to visit and enjoy our world class landscapes in the most environmentally friendly way. These improvements will protect the tourism economy of the County, in turn sustaining our communities for generations to come.
“Tourism is a very competitive industry and we need to offer the best experiences to our visitors to protect our success. We are delighted that HS2 will play a big part in this”
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