December 11 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Parts of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire could see their economies hit to the tune of tens of millions of pounds if the controversial High-Speed Two rail line goes ahead, new figures reveal.
Among thos expected to be hardest hit are east Norfolk, which could see annual output fall by as much as £164.47m, and west Norfolk, which could lose up to £65.02m per year.
But a government spokesman hit back by by saying it should “not be taken in isolation”, and pointing out other transport schemes including the dualling of the final stretch of the A11.
Local areas set to lose out, according to KPMG figures released following a freedom of information request, are:
■ Cambridge city and south - £40.24m-126.89m
■ East Cambs - £14.87m-£28.84m
■ North and west Cambs - £24.78m-£79.32m
■ East Norfolk - £133.34m-£164.47m
■ West Norfolk - £55.65m-£65.02m
■ Peterborough - £34.08m-£65.63m
■ Suffolk main - £4.67m-£14.90m
■ West Suffolk - £39.39m-£62.82m.
Cities across the UK could lose up to £220 million each as a result of HS2, according to previously unseen research.
The more than 50 areas which will be worse off across the UK were omitted from the government-commissioned report when it was published in September.
The full findings of the KPMG study into the business case of the high speed rail route were released following a freedom of information request by BBC Two’s Newsnight programme.
In September the Department for Transport hailed the study - which found the UK economy would be boosted by £15bn a year - and listed the areas which would benefit, including Greater London by £2.8bn and the West Midlands by £1.5bn.
But the areas that would lose out have now been revealed, with those worst affected by a drop in economic output including Aberdeen by £220m, Cambridge by £127m, Bristol by £101m, and Essex south by £151m.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “These figures show that the new north south railway is vital to rebalance our economy and it boosts the north overall more than the south. Of course the line does not serve every city and region and these figures reflect that.
“But it is wrong to take them in isolation. HS2 is part of a much bigger boost to our transport system - £73bn in the next parliament, of which HS2 is just £17bn. This will massively benefit places HS2 will not serve long before the line opens.
“For example in Suffolk we are dualling the A11 (between Fiveways and Thetford) helping to improve visibility to the approach to the Fiveways roundabout. The £102m project will be completed next year and help to improve traffic flow and ease congestion in and around the region.”