Yorkshire Rail Network Study
More people are using Yorkshire’s rail network than at any time since the 1940s. The use of rail for moving freight is also growing. This has allowed growth in the economy, including jobs, while also meaning fewer cars and lorries on our roads, lower emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. However, investment is needed to allow more trains to run, to speed up journeys, to have better stations, to have longer trains and to have new and better carriages, if rail is to continue supporting Yorkshire’s economic growth.
The Government has announced that spending on rail will increase. By the end of this decade, investment in the ‘Northern Hub’ will see more and faster trains running from Manchester over the Pennines to Yorkshire. By 2033, high speed rail will slash journey times from Leeds and Sheffield to London. This is good news, but continued investment in the passenger and freight railway is needed during the rest of this decade for Yorkshire’s economy to meet its full potential, and we need a clear investment programme for the 2020s.
This is why SYPTE, Metro (the West Yorkshire PTE) and Leeds City Region have come together and commissioned this study. Its purpose is to look ahead and see what potential benefits improvements to rail can bring to the Yorkshire economy. What the study shows is that substantial benefits can be gained: up to £12bn from improved connectivity and greater capacity. Armed with this knowledge we can target investment to achieve the best returns to the economy. The challenge is now for the Government and the railway industry to work with us and find affordable and cost effective ways of delivering as much of these benefits as possible.
Copies of the study reports are available below: