High speed rail’s £900m boost to South Yorkshire – report

Artist's impression of planned HS2 railway
Artist's impression of planned HS2 railway
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South Yorkshire’s economy will receive a boost worth between £500 million and £900m each year from the planned HS2 high speed railway.

The productivity gains are equivalent to a 1.9 per cent to 3.2 per cent increase in local economic output.

And the line, plus extra local services on traditional railways once inter-city trains are diverted, will improve transport for 31.8 per cent of employees and 22.5 per cent of businesses in the county.

The findings are revealed in a report by accountants KPMG, commissioned by the Government and unveiled as ministers begin a fightback to justify the £43 billion project.

Nationally, the benefit is forecast to be as much as £15 billion annually.

The report was welcomed by business leaders.

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce’s Transport Forum Tim Hale chairman said: “As long as the economic conditions for its success are being met or exceeded, then HS2 is clearly a logical thing for the country to undertake.

“That being the case, Sheffield must have a station. From this standpoint, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce supports HS2.

“Should the detailed technical or economic arguments for the case change, then our assessment will obviously need to be reviewed.

“If Britain wants to compete in the global economy of the 21st Century, we need a modern, fast rail system, just like we need other communication methods such as excellent airports, good roads and superfast broadband.

“Looking back, can you imagine what London would be like now without the Underground or developments in the north without the M1 and the M6 motorways? Projects never seem as expensive when you look back and High Speed Rail seems a logical step for the UK to take.”

Transport Secretary and Derbyshire Dales Tory MP Patrick McLoughlin said: “We need HS2 as a heart bypass for the clogged arteries of our transport system. It will lift the long-distance burden from our overcrowded main lines.”