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HS2 ‘would benefit some cities more’

HS2 ‘would benefit some cities more’

An independent report has found that some cities would be likely to benefit from the HS2 high-speed rail system much more than others.

The £32 billion rail line, from London to Birmingham, would benefit the capital once work has been completed but "possibly at the expense of less service-oriented cities on the line," the report said.

The study, carried out by consultants Oxera for the House of Commons transport committee, found there was a "degree of uncertainty" around the financial benefits of the scheme – which would see trains travelling at 250mph through the Chiltern Hills.

It has been estimated that work on the line would be finished by 2026, but there are also plans for the line to branch off in a Y shape that would see trains travelling to Manchester and Leeds and possibly further north.

Work would be expected to be completed by around 2032/33 if these plans went ahead.

The Government is strongly in favour of HS2 after ruling out expansion at south east England airports.

But the route passes through beauty spots in Conservative heartlands and while some local authorities and business leaders are firmly in favour of it, local residents' groups and some councils are adamantly opposed.

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