DfT: Yorkshire would be ‘big winner’ from high speed rail

Civic and business leaders from across Yorkshire gathered in Sheffield today to hear how the region could be transformed by high speed rail.

Ahead of the meeting, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond reminded those in the region that high speed rail would not only cut an hour off the journey from Leeds to London, but could also halve the journey time between Leeds and Sheffield to just 20 minutes.

The Government is proposing a ‘Y’ shaped high speed rail network stretching from London to Manchester and Leeds, from where connections onto existing lines would also enable through-running direct services to Scotland. The proposals also include provision for stations in South Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said:

“Our proposals for high speed rail present us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to completely reshape the economic map not just of the UK but of Yorkshire in particular. Yorkshire really would be one of the big winners from our proposed network. Not only would it be much better connected to the economic powerhouse of London, but journeys between two of the region’s major cities could improve dramatically – cutting the journey time in half.

“Taking together the £44bn of benefits it will deliver for the UK economy, the new jobs that it would help to create, and the regeneration it would bring to cities across the network, high speed rail is something for which Yorkshire must show its support.”

The Department for Transport estimates the cost of the complete ‘Y’ shaped network at £32bn and expects it to generate economic benefits of around £44bn and fare revenues of around £27bn over a 60-year period.

The proposed network would be delivered in two phases – the first a line from London to the West Midlands and linked to the HS1 line to the Channel Tunnel, and the second the onward legs to Manchester and Leeds. The second phase would also include a direct link to Heathrow, bringing Sheffield and Leeds within an hour and a quarter of the country’s major hub airport.

The Government is currently holding a public consultation on its proposals for high speed rail which runs until 29th July 2011.



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