The High Speed Rail Group undertook some new research recently which shows residents of Leeds believe the government’s ability to handle major infrastructure projects is inadequate and the city is falling behind other comparable regions in the South.

The focus groups were commissioned following the publication of the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) and recent delays to HS2. The IRP confirmed the full Eastern Leg will not now proceed to Leeds, but committed to an options study to look at how HS2 could eventually reach the city.

Despite the promise, the research shows Leeds’ residents are deeply cynical about major infrastructure projects as a result of “regular over-promising and under-delivery” from government. It was clear participants felt there is a strong North-South divide when it came to transport investment, and many viewed that “it should be the number one priority for Government” to connect up, and address the divide.

You can read the full report here: Perceptions of HS2 – Leeds Residents

Commenting on the research findings, a High Speed Rail Group spokesperson said:

Our findings show the impact delays to HS2, and the wider lack of transport investment in Yorkshire, has had on those in the region. The way to get HS2 back on track is for politicians to recognise HS2 for what it is: a vital increase in green transport network capacity for the century ahead. This research sends a clear message that without significant investment in transport across the North, and in high speed rail, those in the region expect they will continue to fall further behind the rest of the UK, and Europe.

 High speed rail is one of the best ways to drive meaningful economic growth in the North, and as such we call on the Government to commit to delivering HS2 to Leeds and invest in a truly national high speed rail network. The cheapest way to deliver HS2 and garner its expected boost to the national economy is quickly.”