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Metro Chairman Cllr Chris Greaves today
welcomed the news that Transport Secretary Philip Hammond is
backing a high-speed rail network that will include Yorkshire and
the Leeds City Region.
"I am glad to see the Government has taken the right decision on
high-speed rail, a decision that will mean £2.3bn of
productivity benefits to the economy and transport benefits of
"It will represent a significant boost for the Leeds City
Region, Yorkshire and the whole of the east of England", he
continued. "Although the scheme is still a long way off, it will
still be a positive factor in influencing companies when making
decisions about whether to invest and re-locate to our area."
Recently published research carried out on behalf of Metro and
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive showed that this
route through Yorkshire would deliver an estimated £60
billion in standard transport benefits and a further £2.3
billion of productivity benefits.
By linking the Leeds City Region, the Sheffield City Region and
the "Three Cities" of Derby, Nottingham and Leicester it 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
"High speed rail has the potential to transform the shape of the
national economy," said Metro Chairman Cllr Chris Greaves recently.
"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 Government is planning that from Birmingham, the East line
will be routed through via Litchfield and the East Midlands and
then on to South Yorkshire and to a new city centre station in
Leeds. From Leeds it will then rejoin the existing East Coast Main
Line between Leeds and York.
The seven-year construction of the £33bn network could
start in the early 2020s and would require new stations with
¼ mile platforms to cater for the new trains.
The latest research also highlighted 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.
Read the latest research (pdf, 1.46mb).