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Study reports on impact of new High Speed Links - Liverpool & Manchester


High speed railways will link Liverpool and Manchester to other big cities

WORKERS may be £815-a-year richer if high-speed rail lines connect Liverpool and Manchester to other big cities, a study finds today.

The analysis, by management consultants KPMG, also concluded 62,000 jobs would be created across the North West by 2040, the third highest total after Scotland and the West Midlands.

Strikingly, the 250mph network – which is likely to be backed by the Government next month – would do more than perhaps any other project to narrow the North-South divide.

While the nation’s annual economic output would soar by up to £29bn by 2040, total job creation would be 42,000 at best – because employment in the South and East would shift north.

According to KPMG, the South-East would lose 41,000 jobs, while London would see 59,000 posts disappear, as firms flock to places on the high-speed routes.

The study concluded: “Like the original coming of the railways, HSR [high-speed rail] has the potential to transform the shape of the national economy.”

The findings will pile pressure on both Labour and the Conservatives to make high-speed rail a top priority, whoever wins the general election.

Within weeks, Transport Secretary Lord Adonis will publish his conclusions on the study undertaken by the company High Speed Two, which is arguing for a “Y-shaped” route, with twin West and East lines north of Birmingham. The Conservatives back an “S-shaped” line through Birmingham and Manchester to Leeds – and disagree about the route between London and Birmingham – which points to delay.

The KPMG study was commissioned by the campaign group Greengauge 21, which argued it proved high-speed would deliver a “step change” for the North, by creating a proper “national market” for businesses.

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