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Leeds City Region Backs HS2 Despite Claims of £3.3 Billion Funding Gap

train passing

3:05pm 16th May 2013

The Leeds City Region has responded to claims of a £3.3 billion funding gap in HS2.

The National Audit Office says the benefits of the project are unclear and the government hasn't provided enough detail on HS2 and what it's hoped will be achieved by building the new high speed rail line.

The proposed line would form a Y shape and head towards to North Yorkshire, joining the main East Coast mainline at Church Fenton, where there's been a lot of local opposition to the proposals.

Leeds City Region LEP Chair, Neil McLean said:

“We believe the case for HS2 is clear and the report acknowledges the strong economic case of a ‘Y’ shaped network. However, the report fails to capture the wider economic benefits and the return of investment, specifically increased rail capacity, jobs and growth. We feel that the use of outdated analysis alongside lack of consultation with the LEPs, the Core Cities and others has led into an inaccurate representation of what the scheme could deliver for our economy.”

“We see this as a unique opportunity to transform the economic prospects of the Leeds City Region and the North, deliver significant employment benefits and accelerate economic growth. In Yorkshire alone we estimate that up to 50,000 jobs could be attracted through boosted business connectivity and regeneration alongside significant investment in the regional transport infrastructure and regeneration opportunities.”

“At the same time HS2 will bring real benefits to all our cities by freeing capacity on the existing local rail network and improving connections to the capital and European markets, which in turn will shape business investment decisions and enhance our competitiveness on the world stage.”

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