Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Study says high-speed rail will boost Bradford and Yorkshire
8:00am Wednesday 11th September 2013 in News
West Yorkshire will enjoy a £1bn annual economic boost from high-speed rail, a study finds today – giving the troubled HS2 project a huge boost.
The analysis knocks back a key criticism of the £42.6bn scheme by concluding it will deliver bigger benefits to the North and the Midlands than to London.
It predicts a nine per cent leap in the number of jobs in West Yorkshire when the 225mph rail link to London is completed in 2033.
And the scheme is expected to deliver an overall £15bn boost to the British economy, of which £1bn will flow to Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.
The study, by consultants KPMG, was immediately seized on by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin as proof that the Government is right to press ahead with HS2. The scheme has come under fire as its costs spiral, with ministers accused of using “out-of-date data and assumptions” to justify building a high-speed network.
But Mr McLoughlin said: “The big choices we make about infrastructure today have a big effect on economic output tomorrow. And that is the benefit we will see from HS2.
“Will HS2 create jobs and growth in the North and Midlands, where they are needed most? The answer is absolutely clear – yes. A £15bn annual boost to the economy, with the North and Midlands gaining at least double the benefit of the South.”
HS2 is intended to deliver 225mph trains from London to Birmingham by 2026 – and a Y-shaped network, on to Leeds and Manchester, seven years later. The second phase will slash the Leeds to London journey time to just 1hr 22mins.