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Help yourselves by stopping HS2

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Subordination to Leeds is built into HS2

Subordination to Leeds is built into HS2

Sir David Higgins, “the man who delivered the London Olympics on time and on budget“, visited Leeds with the board of HS2 Ltd and told an audience of business and civic leaders that they “must help themselves if they want to realise the benefits of high-speed rail”, the Yorkshire Post reported.

[‘Cities must work together to get benefits of high-speed rail’, Bernard Ginns, Yorkshire Post, 20 Feb 2014]

He said that Greater Manchester sees itself as a big integrated commercial centre but Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield act as totally different cities with little in common.

“No-one here behaves as one big combined conurbation that all trades off each other,” he said.

Mr Higgins also claimed that French cities like Reims or Lille had boomed because of high-speed rail, while other cities like Tours had “done absolutely nothing”.

“It is just a parkway halt with no advantage whatsoever because they have just sat back and said ‘high-speed rail is going to deliver a boom and we just need to sit and wait for it’ whereas other cities have said ‘it is coming in five or ten years’ time, we are going to have a clear business plan and get our act together’.”

What he did not mention was that unlike Tours, Reims and Lille, the West Yorkshire cities of Bradford, Halifax and Wakefield would not be served by a new high speed rail line at all.

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Written by beleben

February 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2, Leeds

One Response

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  1. Nor did Sir David mention that HS2 would not even fast-connect its two northern destinations, Manchester and Leeds; barely 40 miles by crow yet a full and economically divisive hour by rail.

    Studies for ‘The Northern Way’, which reported in 2011, found that “a 20 minute improvement in rail journey time on the trans-Pennine corridor between Leeds and Manchester would result in a GVA uplift of £6.7bn across the North of which just £2.7bn is captured in the two city regions.”

    Northern civic leaders go figure.

    Michael Wand

    February 21, 2014 at 9:18 am


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