Harrogate Line electrification would boost local economy by £400m, new study finds

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WSP has put forward a strong business case for a proposed £100 million electrification of the Harrogate Line, suggesting that the project will benefit the economy as well as passengers.

A study into the electrification of the Leeds-Harrogate-York route found that as well as reduced operating costs, the work would boost the economy by £400 million.

Electrification of the Harrogate Line would allow the frequency of trains to be increased to four per hour between Leeds and Harrogate and two trains per hour to Knaresborough and York.

The introduction of new electric trains would also see journey times shorten by 15 minutes, taking the total journey time between Leeds and Harrogate to within half an hour.

WSP also suggested that the electrification of the line fits in well with other planned rail projects across Yorkshire, including improvements to the East Coast mainline and Trans Pennine electrification.

The business case will be presented to the government for consideration this week.

WSP project manager Mike Holmes said: “The business case for this upgrade supports current national policy objectives for a modern low cost, value for money railway and will deliver significant benefits to passengers, the client and the wider communities.

“It was a challenging project from the offset with many competing priorities to be considered and the need to demonstrate a strong enough business case to justify the level of investment needed.

“The appraisal we conducted was in line with standard industry and government guidelines for transport investment to ensure stakeholder support.”

 

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