HS3 and the new “Z” route

Publication date: 1st April 2025

The government’s next big rail infrastructure project, High Speed 3, will connect many of the cities omitted when building HS1 and HS2, creating jobs and boosting our economy say experts.

Research gathered by HS3 Limited concludes that the first phase of HS3 alone, connecting London with the Welsh city of St David’s in Pembrokeshire, will create countless new jobs and many Euros in revenue every year to Wales. The project is estimated to cost approximately €9bn a year to build, and is not predicted to exceed the annual losses of HS1 and HS2 combined. The principle difference, say supporters, is that HS3 and its benefits, will reach far beyond England and help to heal the East/West divide.

The first stage will be to link up with HS2; passengers will be able to walk the short distance from Birmingham New Street to the new canal barge terminus at Commercial Street where they will be whisked away by narrowboat to a new station to be built at Coseley.

From Coseley the new ‘Z’ section will link St Davids via Newtown on the western spur; the southern/eastern spur (Stage 2) will link Truro via Merthyr Tydfil, crossing the Bristol Channel by a new hydrofoil service serving Llantwit Major and Ilfracombe . Thereafter continuing onward through Exeter and Swindon (Stage 3) until finally terminating at Norwich. A slight detour around Chipping Norton will add about 10 miles to the route.

What would people around the regions think of the latest news?

Father East of the Norwich United Reform Pentecostal Church was delighted.

“We are hoping that this project will bring Christianity to the region”, he remarked with a beam of delight. He waved his arm towards the field beside us.

“We could trade turnips for it, we have lots of them, more than we can eat, and they are lovely in stews you know.” The crowd nodded enthusiastically and a large round faced lady held out her hand towards me.

“Wanna bit?” the turnip had a large bite out of one side; the other looked even less hygienic. I thanked her but declined the offer; it seemed a good time to leave.

High Speed 3 was also enthusiastically supported by Jones the Builder of Aberystwyth who has sought planning permission for a 40 storey high prestige tower that will be equipped with its own 300 foot diameter wind turbine.

‘You can get away with here, see,’ said the Welsh entrepreneur as he lounged under his luxury tarpaulin. ‘You couldn’t have a big thing like that swingin’ around in Central London now, could you?’

I handed another bucket to him.

‘And we’ve got lots of lovely black slate,’ he said enthusiastically. ‘Those London boys love a bit of black slate,’ he continued. ‘You watch, boyo,’ he said, ‘HS3, free electric, and all that black slate an’ we’ll be irresistible.’

I thanked him for his time and paddled my coracle back to the car.

But not everyone was as happy at the announcement and the residents of Ettington were clearly angry that their village was to be sacrificed for the project.

Phil Graves spokesman for the Ettington Countryside Alliance told us he was “disgusted that HS3 was being routed around that weasel’s (the former Prime Minister’s) country estate”.

“We have to move three cemeteries for that sod” he protested, “nasty smelly job and there’s only me to do it”.

We contacted High Speed 3 Ltd where the former Prime Minister is currently a non-executive director; we were informed that he was unavailable for comment.

Inspired by the article “hs2 will boost the regions” by *Geoff Inskip

*Chief executive of West Midlands regional transport authority Centro