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Cllr Ryk Downes today welcomed transport minister Lord Adonis's
announcement that the proposed High Speed Two line from London
would reach Yorkshire - eventually.
"It's excellent news that Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region
are on the high-speed rail map," he said. "But we are very
disappointed that we will not see the benefits for almost 20
"Research by Metro and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport
Executive has shown that this important national infrastructure
project could unlock £30bn-plus of benefits to Yorkshire.
"We believe that Yorkshire's competitiveness in the decades to
come will depend heavily on fast rail links to the capital and the
European markets beyond. Yorkshire businesses should be seeing this
David Brown, SYPTE Director General, said: "This is wonderful
news that South and West Yorkshire are to be included in the
extended high speed network beyond the capital.
"We have been making our argument very strongly that the
combined economies of South and West Yorkshire make up a big part
of the wealth generated in northern England so it is vital that
they continue to be competitive in the decades to come.
Councillor Andrew Carter, joint leader of Leeds City Council
"A high speed rail network is vital to supporting UK economic
growth and international competitiveness, but this network must be
developed to the benefit of all parts of the country.
"By starting work on parallel routes to both the east and west
of the Pennines we can ensure that the economies in both the North
East and North West are supported and developed.
"Many of the local authorities in Yorkshire and Humber have
joined a partnership with councils in the North East and North West
to make sure that any high speed rail development benefits us all,
rather than a select few."
With High Speed Two at least 17 years away, Metro believes that
the existing rail network should not be forgotten.
"We must not lose sight of what can be achieved by much-needed
improvements to existing lines such as the upgrade of the east
coast route, Network Rail's 'Northern Hub' proposal and the
enhancement of the trans-Pennine link that could make it a viable
alternative to the congested M62," added Cllr Downes.
"Backed up by the investment in rolling stock that was promised
in the Government's 2007 White Paper, these developments would
bring massive economic benefits in a short space of time."