The study suggests the strongest case is for a line from London to
Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh, with branches to Birmingham and
Liverpool. NR argues the line should not run via Heathrow Airport
because it would reduce the value and benefits of the project by £3
billion, adding 15 minutes to journey times, and ‘does not make good
financial sense'. NR adds that 90% of air passengers travelling from
principal cities on the route to London would switch to high-speed
Birmingham would be reached in 46 minutes from London, while
Manchester would be 1h 6min, Edinburgh 2h 9min and Glasgow in 2h 16min.
study puts the cost of building the line to Scotland at £15 billion,
with £5.4 billion for non-construction costs such as surveys, design,
planning and project management. Government guidelines also specify a
66% uplift of £13.5 billion, which is applied to the estimate because
the line is at a very early stage of development. With the inclusion of
rolling stock and operating, and maintaining the line over 60 years, NR
anticipates a total cost of £41.3 billion.
NR says the line would
generate revenues of £39.4 billion over 60 years, although the
projected £16 billion reduction in revenue on existing lines would give
a net increase of £23.4 billion. The line is expected to provide almost
£55 billion of benefits over this period, meaning it would pay for
itself 1.8 times over.
High Speed 2, a company set up by the
government to look at options for a high-speed line north of London,
will present the findings of its own study later this year.