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High Speed Trains

Two high speed train programmes; HSTintegration and HSTconnect focus on enhancing the HST network through North West Europe (UK, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands), specifically through targeted infrastructure investment, upgrading of stations to improve their environment and accessibility, and the creation of multi-modal transport hubs linked to the HST network.

The projects are led by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and are co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under INTERREG IIIB for North West Europe. Projects have a total value of €48 million, which represents some of the most significant INTERREG project investments to date. The programmes are also helping to lever further public and private sector investment, ensuring that development of the HST network adds significant value in terms of social and economic regeneration and sustainability. Strong and highly accessible HST hubs in return pave the way for higher rail passenger numbers, for further enlargement of and better services on the HST network.

SEEDA sees sustainable and innovative transport solutions as essential to deliver its vision of the South East of England as a world class region maintaining its global competitiveness. Our collaborative projects with partners across North West Europe play a key role in achieving this. The HST projects focus on strategic policy integration at regional, national and policy level. HSTintegration is implementing a number of best practice investment projects associated with the high speed rail network while HSTconnect focuses on developing the secondary public transport system to feed efficiently and economically into the primary HST network.

The global objectives of the HSTintegration project are:

  • To investigate and demonstrate the means by which HST stations and station area developments can serve the internal cohesion as well as the external strength and competitiveness of North West Europe;
  • To promote a sound and complementary polynuclear backbone for North West Europe;
  • To serve the local needs and development perspectives of the partners’ areas; and
  • To address issues at both local and transnational levels throughout the project.

The strategic aims of the HSTintegration project are:

  • To deliver effective and high quality interchanges, which allow HST passengers “seamless” and pleasant public transport from door to door.
  • To develop a clear strategy and undertake specific actions that will assist in delivering the HST nodes as new communal centres of inter-regional and perhaps even inter national significance (ESDP/SV-NWE).
  • To secure the greatest possible positive economic impacts, by creating the right conditions to develop market sectors that have the most potential to exploit international connections, and the development of appropriate skills within local populations to enhance economic opportunities.
  • To secure new station locations as major drivers for regeneration in deprived urban areas, as well as to secure a high quality environment interwoven with the surrounding urban fabric.

HST Connect

The HSTconnect project has 14 strategic and investment partners from England France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. With a total project value of 19m and an ERDF share of 8m, it is closely associated with the HSTintegration project launched in 2004.

The project concentrates on two key issues: developing the secondary public transport system to feed efficiently and economically into the primary HST network and making stations better places to travel to, through and from–and to do business in. Better accessibility to stations and better station environments help improve economic performance and cultural integration and will reduce social exclusion.

The HST projects are core contributors to the European Commission’s spatial development expectations for transport and connectivity as well as European-wide cross-border access and activity.

© South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), 2009 
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