Bradford Council leader David Green questions HS2 rail link benefits (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Bradford Council leader David Green questions HS2 rail link benefits
There is still not enough evidence that Bradford will benefit from the proposed HS2 rail link to London, according to Bradford Council’s leader.
The Government has released its strategic case for the high-speed line between the capital and Leeds.
Among the points it makes is a promise to Bradford people that the line would allow them to travel to London in two hours, as the new track will free up the route between the cities.
But it also says the economic benefits of the £46 billion scheme were not as high as previously thought.
In August 2012 the “benefit cost ratio” of HS2 was estimated at 2.5 – meaning for every £1 spent there would be a wider economic benefit of £2.50. Yesterday that figure was downgraded to 2.3.
Despite Labour-led Bradford Council having broadly backed the scheme in the past, council leader Coun David Green is now unconvinced Bradford will benefit from the project.
Of yesterday’s report, he said: “It doesn’t really answer any of the questions outstanding. “The Government are talking about quicker trains from Bradford to London but the economic benefits appear to have reduced, which has to call the scheme into question.
“They have not been able to demonstrate the economic benefits other than in the areas that have a direct link.
"The Government say you will hear about the benefits if you talk to Leeds, Birmingham or Manchester.
“If I was leader of one of those authorities I would be much more supportive but my role is to argue for investment that will benefit Bradford district.
“With these benefits being further downgraded I don’t see anything that convinces me that this will.
“If the Government wants support it needs to demonstrate how it will benefit the area. If they have evidence that it will, then why is it not in the public domain?
“All the information I’ve seen raises more questions than it answers.”
Chairman of Metro, Coun James Lewis, praised the report and said the benefits to Yorkshire were obvious.
He said: “This report makes clear the additional capacity HS2 will create, which is key to the future of our local transport network and which studies have identified would mean between £300m and £800m of benefits to Yorkshire.
“This is in addition to the 13,000 new jobs that would be created in the Leeds City Region as companies make relocation decisions based around the high-speed network.”
Comments are closed on this article.