The HS2 effectWith the cost of HS2 now estimated to be at least the official £56bn and now possibly £30bn more than that, the value of a high speed railway to the vast Yorkshire region with its many population centres continues to come under scrutiny, which will now include a government review.
The HS2 plan is to build a high-speed railway from London to Birmingham, then, subject to Government approval, create a Y-shape of northern links from Birmingham to Manchester, then Birmingham to Leeds by 2033.
The audience for the premium line is potentially further narrowed by the likelihood of higher fares than existing, sometimes more direct if slightly slower, journeys.
Many have spoken out for a much greater need for better commuter railways to ease Yorkshire's congestion hotspots. They have stated a need for better trains with more seats and more stations, while some areas now congested with road traffic have even called for reopening of some lines closed in the Beeching cuts of the 1960s.
Our Yorkshire.guide study, The HS2 Effect, has for the first time assessed the effect of building HS2 on each of the cities and major towns in the Yorkshire region, including those major centres the current HS2 route design completely ignores.
In calculating the expected benefits HS2 will bring when the proposed section from the Midlands to Leeds is complete in 2033, it assumes that by that time HS2 will have already been extended from Birmingham to Manchester.
On each home page for the biggest cities and towns in Yorkshire, we have added one of three simple ratings based on convenience and time saved over present-day services if travelling from there to London:
Takes the same time or longer than an existing service* or saves less than 10 minutes while now causing a change of trains. (* or HS2 completed to Manchester).
Saves 10 to 45 minutes. Time for a cup of coffee at your destination rather than on the train?
Saves 45 minutes or more on the existing service, getting you to that all-important London meeting in good time.
We've been fairly generous towards HS2 in making the assessment. Where a change of trains would be needed, we have assumed that you are on the fastest train to the station where you change to HS2, that it arrives on time, that you have 10 minutes to change to the HS2 platform and that an HS2 train is already waiting to depart at that time. No assessment is made of additional journey costs possible in connecting to HS2. The assessment is made on journeys from Yorkshire to London with again no account taken of any convenience or inconvenience in arrival at London Euston rather than London King's Cross station. HS2 may, however, offer benefits other than travel to London, such as travel from Yorkshire to Birmingham.
See the results near the travel section of our pages for: