United Kingdom


  • Industry: Transport
  • Type: Press release
  • Date: 11/09/2013

HS2 could deliver annual £15billion boost to the economy 

  • Report measures impact of HS2 on the  economy in terms of productivity and hence GDP


  • Regions will be the big winners of HS2, analysis suggests



New analysis by KPMG shows that HS2 could boost the country’s economy by £15billion per year and that the regions will be the biggest winners from the project. The report, commissioned by HS2 Ltd, the company developing the new high speed link, also gives a breakdown of the economic benefits for each HS2 city region, with variations in the impact on particular regions depending on assumptions as to the competition between regions and how sensitive businesses are to differences in costs between places. It shows, for example, that HS2 will give the Birmingham city region economy a yearly boost equivalent to 2.1-4.2% of the city region’s GDP. For Manchester city region the figure is 0.8%-1.7%, for Leeds city region, 1.6% and for Greater London 0.5%.*



Richard Threlfall, KPMG’s Head for Infrastructure, Building and Construction comments: “There have been repeated calls for a business case for the HS2 scheme focused on jobs, productivity and growth. KPMG’s analysis forms a key part of that business case, setting out the economic impact across the country of the HS2 scheme. It shows beyond reasonable doubt that HS2 brings net benefits to the country of many times the scheme’s cost. It shows the UK will be £15 billion a year better off with HS2, recovering the cost of the scheme within just a few years.


“Our analysis also shows that HS2 will significantly help counter the corrosive effects on our country of the widening north-south divide. There has been a long-running debate about “who wins” from HS2, the north or the south? The answer is both.”


Drawing on analysis of how connectivity influences productivity and competitiveness today, the KPMG analysis looks at the potential benefits of HS2 in a different way to those captured in more traditional appraisals.


Lewis Atter, KPMG Lead on Infrastructure Strategy comments: “Our report looks beyond time savings of HS2 to the impact on the real economy in terms of GDP and therefore also tax generated for the Exchequer. Adding £15 billion a year to the UK economy is like creating an economy the size of Cambridgeshire or Oxfordshire, without reducing the size of anywhere else. Given the proportion of GDP that flows to the Exchequer, this means more than £5 billion a year in extra tax receipts, more than enough to cover the long term costs of the project to the taxpayer.


“The work also shows that once the focus is what HS2 can do for the economy, the debate about the ‘lap-top’ effect on the value of time saved on rail turns out to be a red herring. Yes it’s true that because it is possible to use a train a little bit like a mobile office, saving time on a journey isn’t as important as it once was, but it also means that the value of rail connections between places to the economy has gone up and will rise over time. HS2 is not just about speed it is also about new capacity and the ability to provide those “mobile office” benefits to more businesses, between more places and at higher levels of frequency. “





Note to editors:


* The ranges above reflect different views about the way businesses respond to cost and productivity differences between places. This affects the distribution of GDP between cities and regions but not the scale of the net national increase in GDP which remains at £15bn. 



For further information please contact:


Katrin Boettger, KPMG Corporate Communications

Mobile: 0782 4475168



KPMG Press office

Tel:  +44 (0) 207 694 8773


About KPMG:


KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 12,000 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2012. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 156 countries and have 152,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  KPMG International provides no client services.



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