Y-shape of HS2 network vital to meeting East of the country’s economic needs

“Scrapping the eastern leg would sacrifice the £600 million of annual benefits to the UK economy," says Cllr Judith Blake

Responding to speculation about the possible outcomes of the Oakervee Review of HS2, Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Lead, said: “The Y-shape of the HS2 network was developed precisely because it was recognised that high speed rail via Manchester would not meet the economic needs and ambitions of the East of the country. 

“Scrapping the eastern leg would sacrifice the £600 million of annual benefits to the UK economy that we know better connections between Leeds and Birmingham would deliver and the 50,000 jobs forecast for the Leeds City Region alone. It would completely fail to meet the needs of Teesside and the North-East and fail to address the capacity crisis in the network.                                                                 

“It is clear that the Oakervee Review will present a series of options to the Government and I hope the Transport Secretary will take careful note of the strong support for the eastern leg among business and civic leaders in any decisions he takes.”

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is a partner in the Connecting Britain campaign supporting the delivery of HS2 in full and integrated with Northern Powerhouse Rail. Find out more about the Connecting Britain campaign.

In August, the government announced that Doug Oakervee who had formerly chaired HS2 Ltd. would be chairing an review of HS2.