The Economic Case for High Speed Rail to Leeds City Region and Sheffield City Region
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Metro have welcomed
new research which highlights the economic benefits Yorkshire would
gain by being connected to a high-speed rail network.
already carried out by ARUP and Volterra had shown that a ‘Y-shaped’
network travelling from London to Birmingham, where it would split with
one arm of the ‘Y’ heading to Yorkshire, could provide between £1.5bn
and £3bn of productivity benefits to the economy, in addition to
transport benefits of around £29bn.
This latest report on High
Speed Rail, written on behalf of Sheffield and Leeds City
Regions, demonstrates the benefits of the proposed Y shaped network and
outlines the reasons for Government support. South Yorkshire Integrated
Transport Authority (SYITA) and Sheffield City Region are currently
debating the findings of this report prior to agreeing the final
Click here to read the full report.
Three million jobs
new research estimates that linking the Sheffield City Region the Leeds
City Region, and the “Three Cities” of Derby, Nottingham and Leicester
as part of a national high speed rail network 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 jobs.
This route to the East of
the Pennines would deliver an estimated £60 billion in standard
transport benefits and a further £2.3 billion of productivity benefits.
Its Benefit to Cost Ratio would be 5.61, compared with 2.58 for the
route to Manchester.
In addition, a direct route to the Leeds
City Region, via the East Midlands and Sheffield City Region, would have
greater economic benefits than the alternative option of a less direct
route to Leeds via Manchester. It would have a higher Benefit to Cost
Ratio of 2.46 compared to only 1.88 for the less direct route via
Manchester, deliver far greater productivity benefits - £2.3 billion
compared to £0.4 billion - and result in far faster journey times to
Leeds, York and the North East.
Transforming the national economy
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
Substantial benefits at modest costs
latest research also highlights 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.
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