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Wednesday 19 August 2009
Over £30bn of benefits could be generated from a
high-speed rail network serving Sheffield and Leeds, a new report
published today concludes.
Commissioned by Metro and the South
Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive in response to the
Government's formation of the High Speed 2 Company, the report has
been prepared by Arup with economic specialist Volterra. It states that a
high-speed rail link via Yorkshire could provide between
£1.5bn and £3bn of productivity benefits to the economy
in addition to transport benefits of around £29bn.
Download the high-speed rail report (pdf, 228k)
These additional, agglomeration
benefits, resulting from the improved efficiency and
competitiveness gained by better connecting people to each other,
are those that have been cited as a way of gauging a project's
potential for success by Sir David Rowlands who heads up High Speed
High-speed rail links with London,
Heathrow and mainland Europe through the Channel Tunnel network
would, the report says, be able to stimulate a transformational
change in the economic performance and standing of the northern
cities. They would provide a gateway to national and international
business travel with meetings in the capital no longer taking up a
Arup and Volterra also found that a
network of high speed rail routes serving the main cities in the
north would address the under-performance of existing links and
provide capacity for substantial growth. Enhancing the existing
East Coast and Midland Main Lines would generate over £1bn of
benefits to the country in addition to the usual transport
"We believe that a high-speed route to
Sheffield and Leeds would bring massive economic benefits, which
would provide a boost to all the North's main centres," said Leeds
City Council co-Leader and Chairman of the Leeds City Region Board,
Cllr Andrew Carter.
"However we are also working with the
Northern Way and bodies across the North of England to highlight
what could be achieved by improvements to existing north-south and
trans-Pennine rail routes, not least because they can be delivered
significantly more quickly," he added.
"It is clear that a high-speed rail
network serving the north of England and Scotland is vital and
wherever it goes it will bring significant benefits to all our
cities and their economies," said David Young, Director of Customer
Experience at SYPTE.
"But it is incumbent upon the
Department for Transport, and Transport Minister Lord Adonis, to
specify a whole network that taps into the potential of all our
northern cities," he warned. "One which achieves the most rather
than one which simply appears most achievable."