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campaign to bring high-speed rail to the Leeds City Region has been
Yorkshire stands to reap over £2bn in economic benefits
from the Government's proposed national network of 200mph + trains,
known as 'HS2', which will cut the journey time from Leeds to
London to just 80 minutes.
Visitors to the new Yorkshire Needs High-Speed
Rail website can find out how the planned high-speed link will
support the creation of new jobs and encourage companies to locate
and invest in the Leeds City Region.
They can also sign up to support the national 'Yes to
High Speed Rail' campaign.
Gary Williamson, Chief Executive of the Chamber said:
"High-speed rail will bring huge benefits for our region. If the
first stage gets the go-ahead, it will influence investment
decisions by business for years to come, helping to create new
local jobs and secure existing ones."
"If we are to
realise these economic benefits, we need the first stage of the
scheme from London to Birmingham to be approved. We must not be
derailed by a vocal minority in the home counties, who are opposing
the scheme. That's why we are encouraging local people and
businesses to respond to the consultation and show their support
for the scheme."
Neil McLean, Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP Board added:
"High-speed rail will play a major role in delivering Leeds City
Region's ambition of becoming a world-leading low carbon
"The transformational benefits for the whole city region economy
are clear: as the country's largest financial centre outside
London, new high-speed connections to the capital and European
markets will shape business investment decisions and enhance our
competitiveness on the world stage. We don't just want to see
high-speed rail in the Leeds City Region; we want to see it here as
soon as possible, so that we can accelerate the benefits for the
city region and the UK economy."
Metro Chairman, Cllr James Lewis said: "Leeds needs high-speed
rail because it has the potential to transform the shape of the
national and the city region economy. A city centre high-speed rail
station would provide a transformational new transport hub helping
to spread the benefits of high-speed rail across the Leeds City
"As well as
campaigning for the long-term benefits of HS2, we will be pressing
for more immediate improvements to existing routes, such as the
electrification of the East Coast Main Line, Midland Main Line,
trans-Pennine and Leeds-Sheffield links, which would deliver
substantial benefits at modest costs."
Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council said:
"Leeds is a city that is going places and we need high-speed rail
to improve access to the area as it develops further as a major hub
for business, leisure, investment and jobs. High speed rail will
transform rail journeys from Leeds and many other northern cities,
providing travel opportunities and choices that we won't otherwise
"With Leeds Arena and the Trinity Leeds shopping complex in
development, the council is working with its partners in a
concerted effort to attract jobs and further investment to Leeds,
and we need the best possible transport links to support that.
"The forward-looking approach of authorities in our twin city,
Lille, who started planning well before that city's high-speed TGV
Nord line was built, resulted in the expansion of the city centre
with the development of a major commercial centre around the new
station. A continuing development strategy has resulted in new
offices, public housing and a large conference and events hall in
other nearby areas - a hugely successful model which we believe
could be of great benefit if similarly applied to Leeds."
The Yorkshire Needs High-Speed Rail website is
also supported by a Yorkshire Needs High-Speed Rail
Facebook page and on Twitter @HighSpeed2Yorks.
Next Tuesday, 28 June the 'Yes to High Speed Rail' campaign bus
will be calling at Leeds, when local business leaders, politicians
and others will be turning out for a photocall in Millennium Square
to show their support for the campaign.