70,000 jobs in Leeds railway revolution

Artist's impression of the new high speed trains.
Artist's impression of the new high speed trains.
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More than 70,000 jobs will be created in Leeds thanks to the new high-speed rail line to London due to be given the green light today, a report claims.

David Cameron and his most senior Ministers were due to travel north this morning (Jan 28) to hold a rare Cabinet meeting outside Westminster, where they will formally sign off the second phase of the £32 billion HS2 project.

The first phase of the new 200mph railway, between London and Birmingham, was given the green light last year.

Today Ministers will announce the route of the second phase, . . .a ‘Y’-shaped line running north-east to Leeds, via Nottingham and Sheffield, and north-west to Manchester via Crewe.

Journey times between Leeds and London will be slashed to just one hour 22 minutes. A train to Birmingham will take less than an hour.

The boost to the economy will be enormous. A new study by the Oxford Economics think-tank suggests Leeds will gain the biggest benefit of any northern city, with 73,000 new jobs created across the city as a result of its improved transport links.

Mr Cameron said: “Linking communities and businesses across the country and shrinking the distances between our greatest cities, high-speed rail is an engine for growth that will help to drive regional regeneration and invigorate our regional economies.

“It is vital that we get on board the high-speed revolution.

“We are in a global race, and this Government’s decision to make high-speed rail a reality is another example of the action we taking to equip Britain to compete and thrive in that race.

“High-speed rail is a catalyst that will help to secure economic prosperity across Britain, rebalance our economy and support tens of thousands of jobs.”

On Saturday the Yorkshire Evening Post revealed the Government plans to build a second station in Leeds to cater for the new high-speed trains.

The station will be sited to the south of the river at New Lane, but linked to the current station by a walkway.

The project is expected to be part of a wider regeneration scheme that will spark new life into Leeds’s city centre and create more than 13,000 maintenance and construction jobs.

All these benefits, however, are a long way off. The railway will take 20 years to build, with phase two due to open in 2032.

It is understood Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has asked officials to consider ways to bring this deadline forward.

He said: “High-speed rail is an unparalleled opportunity to secure a step-change in Britain’s competitiveness and this Government will do everything possible to ensure that Leeds and the wider West Yorkshire economy benefit by getting the connections they need and deserve to thrive.

“I also believe the proposed New Lane site for the new Leeds station provides an incredible new opportunity for growth and regeneration in that part of the city.”

“HS2 will be woven into the transport fabric of the nation, accessible to everyone across Leeds, and I believe these proposed routes north of Birmingham offer a great starting point for the consultation process to follow.”phase, a ‘Y’-shaped line running north-east to Leeds, via Nottingham and Sheffield, and north-west to Manchester via Crewe.

Journey times between Leeds and London will be slashed to just one hour 22 minutes. A train to Birmingham will take less than an hour.

The boost to the economy will be enormous. A new study by the Oxford Economics think-tank suggests Leeds will gain the biggest benefit of any northern city, with 73,000 new jobs created across the city.

On Saturday the YEP revealed the Government plans to build a second station in Leeds to cater for the new high-speed trains.

The station will be sited to the south of the river at New Lane, but linked to the current station by a walkway.

The project is expected to be part of a wider regeneration scheme that will spark new life into Leeds’s city centre and create more than 13,000 maintenance and construction jobs.

All these benefits, however, are a long way off. The railway will take 20 years to build, with phase two due to open in 2032, though it is understood Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has asked officials to consider ways to bring this deadline forward.

He said: “High-speed rail is an unparalleled opportunity to secure a step-change in Britain’s competitiveness and this Government will do everything possible to ensure that Leeds and the wider West Yorkshire economy benefit by getting the connections they need and deserve to thrive.

“I also believe the proposed New Lane site for the new Leeds station provides an incredible new opportunity for growth and regeneration in that part of the city.”