On the back of the Government announcing plans for a high-speed rail link, HS3, aimed at helping to rebalance the UK economy, Richard Threlfall, Partner and UK Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction at KPMG, has welcomed the scheme and compares it to the build of the M25 and the Channel Tunnel. He said:
He said: "HS3 has the potential to spread our economic wealth across the country and can be compared to bold and visionary schemes such as the M25 and the Channel Tunnel. Today’s announcement recognises that a massive intervention by Government is needed to reverse the drain of the UK's economy from the North to the South.
"Over the last 10 years, according to ONS data, the North's share of the UK's economic output has fallen by more than 5%. This trend will continue unless we strive to share our country’s economic success beyond the South East. HS3 recognises the dismal state of links between the UK's Northern cities today. It takes about the same time to reach Liverpool from Leeds as it does to get to London from Leeds, even though it is less than half the distance.
"We have for too long invested billions of pounds more in the South than the North - throwing money at our strongest region and abandoning our weakest. The UK currently invests as much in infrastructure in London in 2 days as it invests in Manchester in a year. HS3 should finally turn the tide and help the North regain its historic prominence in the UK economy.
"HS3 is the missing link to create a true high speed rail network in the UK. It should run between our major port cities of Liverpool and Hull, and connect up Manchester, Bradford, Leeds and York, then up to Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
"The distance between Manchester and Leeds is no longer than the Central Line in London - there is no reason why our northern cities should not operate as one economic powerhouse provided they are properly connected up.”
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Nahidur Rahman, KPMG Press Office
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This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.