Report released today. Press release from the Campaign for High Speed Rail follows below:



1,000,000 jobs rely on the support of the Government’s investment in high-speed rail, according to a new economic report commissioned by Britain’s major cities. In total, 400,000 jobs could be created in Britain’s core cities, with many more in the areas they serve.

Graham Evans, Conservative MP for Weaver Vale in Cheshire, pressed Prime Minister David Cameron:

“The Prime Minister needs to make sure he delivers what he promised. It’s very simple: if Conservative opposition ends up cancelling HS2, then cities outside of London will not be able to create the jobs they need.”

Stuart Andrew, Conservative MP for Pudsey in Leeds, added:

“A revitalised economy and a renewed business confidence are both key to job creation in the North and the Midlands. David Cameron needs to deliver that, and HS2 is integral to that delivery.

“When the Conservative Party announced its support for high-speed rail for the North and Midlands it gave cities like Leeds a real boost.  We fought an election on it. To go back on it now would be met with a serious sense of dismay.”

British businesses need a significant investment in inter-city transport infrastructure to reach new markets and recruit the best people, said the report, commissioned by Core Cities. If Britain’s transport infrastructure does not keep up with the planned growth in jobs, businesses in the Midlands and the North will become uncompetitive and job creation thrown into reverse.

“Modern economies increasingly depend on high-concentrations of world-beating innovators working closer together so these days you need the best transport links to build a prosperous city,” said Bridget Rosewell, Chairman of Volterra, the economics agency.

“Our transport system cannot keep up with the growing demand by businesses for domestic and international travel, and the only way of delivering hundreds of thousands of travellers to city-centres each day is by train. Retrofitting our existing network is uneconomic, disruptive and fails to meet the demand. That is why a new national high-speed rail network is critical to Britain’s future economic prosperity,” she went on.

80% of people in the UK live in cities. The core cities contribute an estimated 27% of UK GDP.

Of the one million jobs:

  • 80,700 will be created in Birmingham, which will require an extra 37,700 rail journeys into the city per day
  • 111,900 will be created in the Birmingham LEP, which require even more daily rail journeys into the city
  • 32,500 will be created in Nottingham, which will require an extra 4,500 rail journeys into the city per day
  • 166,300 will be created in the Nottingham LEP, which require even more daily rail journeys into the cities

Opponents of high-speed rail claim HS2 will cost every income tax-payer £1,000 to construct. But recent research by KPMG proves otherwise. High-speed rail will generate (per income tax payer):

  • £800 of benefit for the economy per annum
  • £330 in revenue for the Exchequer per annum
  • £5,000 of NPV for the Exchequer

It will also encourage GDP growth in the Core Cities by up to 3 per cent, and see a local wage increase of between 1.06% and 2.7% according to Volterra.

“It makes no sense for half the country to be working at a discounted salary because of our failure to invest in a national transport system that brings our cities closer together. The cost to the Exchequer of Britain’s dislocated economy is extortionate. Such an investment in Britain’s infrastructure will increase salaries in our core cities and create a dividend for Her Majesty’s Treasury. This will help the Government recoup its initial outlay on high-speed rail,” said Professor David Begg, Director of the Campaign for High Speed Rail.

“With public services no longer a source of significant job creation in our cities there is an increased need to grow the private sector base, and in particular those business with an ability to compete in world markets. Connecting businesses and people and facilitating ‘working travel’ will be required to ensure the UK’s economic success is not confined to southern England,” said Neil Gibson of Oxford Economics.

The Core Cities are the economically most important cities outside of London in England: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

Birmingham City Council Leader Mike Whitby said, “The benefits for Birmingham and the West Midlands are clear – job creation, increased productivity and increases in average pay.”

“A fully functioning high speed rail network will provide the extra capacity this country desperately needs, and will help boost connectivity across the UK and with the continent. Furthermore, government research shows that it could potentially generate benefits of £44bn to the UK economy. We must continue to invest in Britain’s transport infrastructure as this will underpin economic growth, help drive the recovery and create jobs,” said David Frost, Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce.

“Existing inter-city lines are increasingly full. For Britain to reach its economic potential, we need significant investment in new rail infrastructure to deliver good value, fast, inter-city transport, and to release capacity for commuter and freight services,” said Nigel Harris, Managing Editor of RAIL Magazine.

“This could be the biggest boost to regional economies since the steam engine. We believe that GDP growth in the core cities could out-strip the national economy, reaching 3% per annum thanks to investments like high-speed rail. Without such investment, economic growth in Birmingham could be placed in jeopardy,” said Simon Topman, CEO of Acme Whistles.

“Pro-car, small-state opponents of national infrastructure investments are condemning Britain’s core cities to life in the slow-lane where they will be unable to compete with modern, well-connected metropolises rising in the developing world. For the sake of exaggerated environmental concerns and an ideological antipathy to rail transport, they would jeopardise a million jobs and prosperity for future generations,” said Peter Mathews of Black Country Metals and an ambassador for UK trade.

“This could be the biggest boost to regional economies since the steam engine. We believe that GDP growth in the core cities could out-strip the national economy, reaching 3% per annum thanks to investments like high-speed rail. Without such investment, economic growth in Nottingham could be placed in jeopardy,” said Tim Garret, Director of Innes England, an East Midlands-based commercial property agency.

The report also analysed the impact of high-speed rail overseas:

High-speed rail pays for itself.  The Tokyo-Osaka line opened in 1964, and the Paris-Lyon line in 1981.  The Japanese line reports that it long ago covered its construction cost through fares, and the French line reports that it has also done this.  The Spanish high speed network (AVE) is the only part of the Spanish railway turning a profit.

High-speed rail  exceeds demand forecasts.  Even though the main Japanese HSR line is only 3% of the total network length, it carries 25% of all traffic.  In the decade to 2004, passenger traffic on HSR in France increased 62.5%, and passenger traffic between Frankfurt and Cologne increased 133%.

High-speed rail has significant economic and regeneration benefits. In Japan, cities like Yokohama have seen huge developments around stations.  Property values around stations have been estimated to be 67% higher and cities connected to the line grow their population 22% faster and have 26% higher growth in employment.  In France, Lyon saw a 43% increase in office space around the station after the HSR link to Paris opened and reports suggest land prices have risen by 35%.  Development at Lille’s station supports 6,000 jobs. High speed rail has created new commuter cities, such as Vendome, where HSR reduced the travel time from 2hrs20 to 42mins. In Spain Lleida, a city between Madrid and Barcelona, has experienced a 15% increase in tourism and new investment from high tech companies. Cities such as Ciudad Real have seen growth as commuter cities, with an average of 1,000 homes built per year.  The stations of Montabaur and Limburg were added to the Frankfurt-Cologne line due to political pressure and studies show a 2.7% increase in overall economic activity.

High-speed rail reduces the demand for car and aviation trips. From Paris-Lyon the rail share of trips rose from 40-72% when HSR was introduced.  HSR now accounts for 97% of the air-rail market between Frankfurt and Cologne.  The Madrid-Seville line cut air travel by a third and car fell from 60-34%.  Along the Madrid-Barcelona line, once Europe’s busiest air route, the number of train passengers now outnumbers air.



Please click here for a copy of the Volterra report.

The case for high-speed rail is backed by communities and businesses from across the country.

Between 2000 and 2007 the UK was the lowest investor in infrastructure of all the OECD countries.

The UK ranks only 34th in the world for its infrastructure and 6th in the G8 countries[1]. The UK only spends 1.5% of GDP on infrastructure investment compared to 6% in Japan and 3% in France[2].  The UK has a massive infrastructure deficit, estimated at £500bn over the next decade, and lags significantly behind our closest global competitors.

The Core Cities Group is a network of the local authorities of England’s eight largest city economies outside London: Birmingham; Bristol; Leeds; Liverpool; Manchester; Newcastle; Nottingham; and Sheffield.  These cities drive their local economic areas and make a very significant contribution to the national economy.  Working in partnership, we aim to enable each Core City to enhance its economic performance and make them better places to live, work, visit and do business.  We work in partnership with Government both to influence policy and to develop new ideas, based on knowledge of what works on the ground, to improve economic performance and reduce dependency.  The Core Cities Group has a track record of more than 10 years, led by the City Leaders across all parties.

England’s Core Cities are the main drivers of the country’s economy outside London and the South East.  Together their primary urban areas deliver 27% of the national economy, more than London, and contain 16 million residents.[3]

You can learn more about the Campaign for High Speed Rail on our website:

For more information please call 07758 019 351 or email