Government found to be hiding information showing cities losing out due to HS2

A freedom of information request from a member of the public which was passed on to the BBC Newsnight programme has shown the extent to which cities could lose out economically due to HS2. The information, part of the research behind a report which the Government paid KPMG a quarter of a million pounds for in September, was not previously produced.

The KPMG report itself was widely trashed in September by academics and economics as it relied on a brand new untested methodology, which ignored many of the factors which influence economic activity. As such, it was dismissed as nothing but a PR exercise, which the revelation that negative economic impacts were missed out underlines.

The report shows that HS2 would potentially cause annual losses in economic activity not only in areas not served by the route, but areas which HS2 Ltd have claimed would benefit by the running on of ‘classic compatible trains’ such as Glasgow, Liverpool and Lancaster. The report also shows that with up to £1520.50m of projected benefits, Central London would be the biggest winner from HS2.

The full list of places which could lose out and their maximum potential economic loss is: Aberdeen £220.48m, Bath & NE Somerset £20.20m, Bridgend £10.78m, Bedfordshire North £63.14m, Borders £8.92m, Brighton & Hove £12.84m, Buckinghamshire £92.95m, Cardiff £70.06m, Carmarthenshire £12.14m, Bristol £101.27m, Conwy £9.74, Corby £84.39m, Cambridge City & South £126.89m, Cambridgeshire East £28.84m, Cambridgeshire North & West £79.32m, Cheltenham & Cotswold £2.79m, Chester & Ellesmere Port £29.12m, City of Glasgow £76.97m, Cornwall £19.25m, Cumbria South £26.69m, Devon £6.01m, Devon East £13.45m, Devon North West £18.54m, Devon South West £14.01m, Dundee & Angus £96.46m, East Northamptonshire £28.75m, Eden £2.6m, East Dunbartonshire £2.98m, East Renfrewshire £1.95m, East Sussex £16.38m, Essex East £29.57m, Essex South £151.12m, Exeter £7.37m, Falkirk £17.61m, Gwynned £3.21m, Gatwick & Crawley £31.40m, Gloucester, Stroud, Forest of Dean £81.02m, Havant £4.13m, Herefordshire £12.88m, Isle of Anglesey £1.88m, Isle of Wight £2.27m, Kettering £50.73m, Kent- Ashford & Shepway £19.77m, Kent East £6.52m, Kent West £132.71m, Lancaster £45.51m, Lincolnshire South East £32.99m, Liverpool £50.19m, London North £13.93m, Monmouthshire £8.44m, Neath Port Talbot £6.15m, Newport £36.42m, North Lincolnshire £16.49m, North Somerset £23.89m, Norfolk East £164.47m, Norfolk West £65.02m, Oxfordshire North £15.80m, Pembrokeshire £9.38m, Powys £5.62m, Peterborough £65.63m, Plymouth £14.15m, Portsmouth £4.76m, Rutland £5.32m, Renfrewshire £1.52m, Sefton £4.19m, South Gloucestershire £83.06m, Swansea £16.43m, Somerset West £8.52m, South Wales Central £28.37m, South Wales East £18.16m, Stansted & Uttlesford £31.34m, Stirling & Clackmannan £7.74m, Stoke & Staffordshire North £78.38m, Suffolk Main £14.90m, Suffolk West £62.82m, Surrey East £30.78m, Surrey South West £5.29m, Tewkesbury £28.10m, Vale of Glamorgan £7.07m, Warrington £17.79m, Wellingborough £39.53m, West Dumbartonshire £1.02m, West Sussex Central £12.06m, West Sussex Chichester £4.13m, West Sussex Coast £10.86m, West Sussex Horsham £14.38m and Wiltshire South £19.42m.

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin said:

“The Government paid quarter of a million pounds for KPMG to invent a brand new untested methodology to try and prop up the failing case for their white elephant. Now it turns out that they Government deliberately suppressed any findings that would make HS2 seem bad. What this freedom of information request shows is that you cannot trust a single word which anyone from Government says when they try and justify HS2.”

“We have always said that London would be the biggest winner from HS2 and the hidden part of this report backs this up. We have always said that HS2 would suck economic activity away from places which cannot afford to lose it and the hidden part of this report backs that up too. It is clear that nothing the Government says about HS2 can be trusted and these revelations make it even clearer than ever that this boondoggle must be scrapped before any more money is wasted.”

Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2 said

“What this new information shows is that HS2 Ltd and the Government are desperately trying to hide any negative data about HS2.  Large parts of the country will be losing out ranging from Aberdeen to Brighton and Suffolk to Swansea.  Even Liverpool, which was originally going to benefit will potentially lose out if HS2 goes ahead.

“It’s a real concern that HS2 are trying to hide this data.  With the ongoing consultation into Phase 2 of the route, is vital that people take heed of the new data, and realise that even if you don’t live on the route, HS2 could have a massive negative impact.”

“The newly released figures are much more in line with an earlier KPMG report which included the information that places like Cardiff and Cornwell would lose tens of thousands of jobs.”

“However, we should not lose sight of the inadequacies in the report.  It is based on the August 2012 economic case, but was published a month before the next economic case is due out.  The modelling was invented for this report, and leading economists, including former advisors to HS2 Ltd have criticised it.  It includes the Heathrow Spur, even though that is not currently being developed.  Even KPMG have massive disclaimers about relying on the report.  All this shows, even when HS2 Ltd try to fiddle the figures, HS2 is a bad project for the nation as a whole, and should be cancelled as soon as possible.

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15 comments on “Government found to be hiding information showing cities losing out due to HS2
  1. As this project moves forward it becomes clear this government just cannot accept the fact they are wrong in all of there budgets what the people want and if they continue they will lose the next election .so the more MPs who stand up against hs2 the more chance they have of wining

  2. Sad but true moral of story: Read everything that is published not just the sound-bites that are part of media manipulation.
    To answer KNC and Elaine

    Not HS2 as is but I think High Speed Rail was clearly on the books. The current HS2 route was contentious. The Bow Group clearly advised Cameron against it.

    If you doubt it; here it is directly from the
    MODERN CONSERVATISM: OUR QUALITY OF
    LIFE AGENDA
    this was part of the manifesto dated april 2010. Also promised was another high speed network “to follow soon” for scotland wales. It shows the timescales they had in mind; not one but two contentious schemes. The election was 6th May.

    “We will stop the third runway and instead link Heathrow directly to our high speed rail network, providing an alternative to thousands of flights. In addition, we will:
    • block plans for second runways at Stansted and Gatwick; and,
    • reform Air Passenger Duty to encourage a switch to fuller and cleaner planes.
    Create a new high speed rail network and improve rail travel
    A Conservative government will begin work immediately to create a high speed rail line connecting London and Heathrow with Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. This is the first step towards achieving……..”

    It was the route/means that was not deternined and the party was against the current route in the main as it was not in keeping with the HS1 kent rules as it were. At that level one could argue that the election expectation had been breached. No one believed at that time that the AONB would be effected. Many national bodies with the support of CPRE had joined a rail charter (which HS2 as is breached). l think this too was a clever strategic ploy by the overt and powerful lobbyists who actually have whispered the project into politico ears well before any public notion was manifest.

    Whether it was speed, apathy or simple stupidity that provoked the adoption of the current route has been a matter of consideration. Neither Atkins nor Arup recommended or supported it before it was decided.

    I am advised that it was determined by socio-political analysis of demographics and very cynical notions that the Tory Heartlands were ‘safe’ regardless of what the Govt meeted out on their voters; that it the main it was the poorer sections/towns that would be adversely effected and the use of virgin AONB reduced compensation and could avoid areas that would be politically damaging.

    As we now now know the Cabinet only value their own AONB /environments and are proving to be the greatest evil; politically empowered or connected Nimbys. (ie Tatton Kink)

  3. Pingback: STOP HS2 | What the Government & HS2 Ltd tried to keep secret

  4. So HS2 does have an economic case then? For the big cities it serves we can’t have both ways any big infrastructure job in one part of the country will not directly benefit another city hundreds of miles away. Think about it look at the alternatives being proposed on this forum non of them can be described as benefitting Cardiff or Aberdeen and may have a negative impact on them. Kpmg report does not mention the positive impact that electrification of the grat western main line and the benefit that gives Bristol and Cardiff and the bbc jourNalist with his silly Christmas jumper on news night missed the point completely.

    I’ve been On other forums and can tell people that far from being a killing clincher fact this story is being used as proof positive that hs2 has n economic benefit to UK plc in fact the pro HS2 lobby see this as victory over the antis. As one poster on another forum said the stop hs2 campaign way as well forget arguing the economics of it. We can’t shout no business case then accept findings of a report that says it does.

    • You say: ….the pro HS2 lobby see this as victory over the antis.

      Can we take it then that pro HS2 supporters are happy for the Department of Transport to be deceitful and try to withhold negative information about the line?

      Perhaps it’s time the pro-brigade took off their rose coloured spectacles.

    • The latest report over the weekend is quite clear.

      IF there is a boost to Manchester and Birmingham from HS2 which goes beyond that associated with the usual infrastructure improvements it would be from companies relocating to be closer to one of the few stations say within 20 minutes or so drive of a station. IF that happens then somewhere else will lose out. That is not rocket science.

      It is a massive jump to say that businesses will move from the “south” to the “north”. It could be the other way round. More likely there may be some shift from an hour from a station to 20 mins from a station. If Nick Clegg thinks that will close the North – South gap ( at a cost of £ 50 billion plus a few add ons ) then you can be sure it won’t be . He has been wrong on everthing else.

      Personally I think the potential boost to Manchester and , in particular , Birmingham ( with a very modest journey time improvement that can in no way be called gamechanging ) has been way overplayed. But the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce will be thinking , why not ? Let’s give it a go …. someone else is paying ! You would get a very different response if Blackett and co had to make a significant contribution as has been the case with Crossrail in London.

  5. Why isn’t someone within the DfT or HS2 Ltd being brought to book for so deliberately holding back the whole truth? Perhaps there’d be too many of them. If this is the sort of deception being used, how can anyone trust any of them? What else are the hiding? Disgraceful.

  6. Dft hs2 are losing believability at each report with these types of analyses. Credibility gaps opened in other reports and in the Supreme Court. The UK has slipped in due dilligence evidenced based ranks with this HS2 programme. Poorly conceptualised and poorly planned and assessed. The promoters and civil servants seem very uncertain about the real world.

  7. The reports conclusions are fatally flawed but at least accepts that hs2 just shuffles growth from place to place and that there is little net benefit
    It must be consigned to the dft archives to gather dust

  8. As I mentioned last year the politics and gerrymongering is revealed.

    Then huge costs are to be paid for by the nation. The cost benefits are likely to be negative.

    4 Nations will fund it and only certain privileged regions will potentially benefit.
    How were these chosen? Where was the pre-decision parliamentary discussion?
    Where was the electoral mandate for such choices?

    This not just ‘a redistribution from London/SE (ie ‘balancing the economy’) to the North but it will selectively benefit certain cities and regions over others who may suffer as a consequence..
    Furthermore it will take commerce away from other areas. Some of which are doing well because of hard work and
    organic growth some of which are struggling but will suffer even more deprivation.
    It is not ‘free market’ but an enfornced strategic socio-political intervention with rapidly reducing rights to democratic challenge. It is clear such facts were well known and agreed by the coalition cabinet.
    The attempts to gag opposing councils, opposing groups and limit their legal rightshatredand to use perjorative labelling and whipping up hatred on the basis of “national interest”
    or because of ( casino banker made) economic recession are the sort of arguments and political response of national socialism and fascism.
    Is this over-reaction?
    This Summer/ Autumn we have seen changes to planning, changes to greenbelt, threats to civil freedom and legal challenge, the ‘new offensive’ the use of false propaganda, the use of deliberate obfuscation of important facts to cities that will lose out, media manipulation /perjorative labelling and hate (Mr Ruse) all blended into
    a “New Vision” of the UK. One that did not appear in pre election manifesti nor for which there was a democratic consensus.
    There was no mandate; a coalition took control in the National Interest…………
    We were promised a ‘Big Society” Greenest Governement, Care of the Environment’ etc.
    Instead we are having land grabs and wholesale sell-offs.

    • Paul all the main party’s went into the 2010 election with a build hs2 commitment in their manifesto if anything hs2 has the biggest mandate from the electorate of any current policy.

      • They may have had a high speed transport plan in the manifesto (along with many other things) my comment relates to the regenerative/ redistributive negative component that was certainly not discussed in manifesti but would have been understood if not schemed in Whitehall.
        I was informed of it as a consequence 3 years ago. I raised it as redistributive winners and losers. That the Labour scheme was adopted ;Insiders (con) told me that it was linked to an attempt to stabilize northern marginals/improve northern seats given the poor support and the wish for a majority next election.
        My concern has been the erosion of civil freedoms; I also link further changes to planning and greenbelt that did not figure. HS2 in its present form is clearly symptomatic of other issues relating to democracy.
        If all three party contenders had the same plan it would be difficult to argue that this was ‘a mandate’ the public had no true or realistic choice. This was a purely political decision contrary to the will of the people as evidenced in the consultations undertaken subsequent to the announcement.
        Public opinion as evidenced by survey does not show a clear mandate (and that was based on prior ‘information’ which was clearly suppressed.
        It is now evident that in the political promulgation of this scheme there has been clear misinformation and manipulation which makes any notion of a public mandate somewhat void.
        That is why, given how matters have unfolded there should be a full Judicial Public Inquiry

      • Not true. There was no reference to HS2 in the Conservative manifesto last time. In fact the politicians were hinting that they would scrap the project and no doubt won a few votes in the process. It was some time after the coalition was formed that Phillip Hammond announced that he was going to proceed with Adonis’ folly.

      • I watched the election broadcasts, including the debate, and do not recollect HS2 being pushed as one of the main items for us to vote for by any party.I will certainly not vote for any person or party who advocates it.I have followed it for three years and seen the shambles dished out by HS2 to the public.These people have recieved high wages for years and still present us with a shambles .It is disgraceful.

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