Click here to see our cookies policy
Is this OK?
Metro and the
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive have welcomed new
research which highlights the economic benefits Yorkshire would
gain by being connected to a high-speed rail network.
Research already carried out by ARUP and Volterra had shown that
a 'Y-shaped' network travelling from London to Birmingham, where it
would split with one arm of the 'Y' heading to Yorkshire, could
provide between £1.5bn and £3bn of productivity
benefits to the economy, in addition to transport benefits of
Their new research estimates that linking the Leeds City Region,
the Sheffield City Region and the "Three Cities" of Derby,
Nottingham and Leicester as part of a national high speed rail
network would connect an area of 6.7 million people and 3 million
jobs. Onward connections to the Tees Valley and Tyne and Wear City
Regions would provide access to a further 2.2 million people and
0.9 million jobs.
Read the latest research (pdf, 1.46mb).
This route to the East of the Pennines would deliver an
estimated £60 billion in standard transport benefits and a
further £2.3 billion of productivity benefits. Its Benefit to
Cost Ratio would be 5.61, compared with 2.58 for the route to
In addition, a direct route to the Leeds City Region, via the
East Midlands and Sheffield City Region, would have greater
economic benefits than the alternative option of a less direct
route to Leeds via Manchester. It would have a higher Benefit to
Cost Ratio of 2.46 compared to only 1.88 for the less direct route
via Manchester, deliver far greater productivity benefits -
£2.3 billion compared to £0.4 billion - and result in
far faster journey times to Leeds, York and the North East.
"High speed rail has the potential to transform the shape of the
national economy," said Metro Chairman Cllr Chris Greaves. "To do
so it must access the areas with the most significant centres of
population and employment.
"We also agree that high-speed rail should serve city centre
stations - this will maximise the economic benefits due to the
proximity of high value jobs. City centres are already public
transport hubs and therefore would help spread the benefits of high
speed rail more widely across the city regions. They would also act
as a focus for regeneration and development."
The latest research also highlights the need to make
improvements to existing rail routes in the short-medium term.
Delivery of high speed rail to the north will be a long-term (20-30
year) project, but existing proposals to upgrade and electrify the
Midland Main Line, East Coast Main Line, trans-Pennine and
Leeds-Sheffield links can deliver substantial benefits, in some
cases at modest costs.
Improvements to existing routes, and to local and regional rail
routes and services, will improve access to high speed stations,
helping exploit the benefits of high speed rail in providing
capacity relief on existing lines.